1835 - 1850 Eliza Jane Todd's "Grandmother's Flower Garden" Quilt Top

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Description
Eliza Jane Todd’s silk quilt top is pieced in the “Honeycomb” or “Mosaic” pattern, also referred to as “Grandmother’s Flower Garden.” One inch hexagons are seamed by overcasting into 6 ½-inch “flowers” each having a dark center hexagon. Many have outer rings of red silk hexagons. The “flowers” are separated by black hexagons. A 3 ½-inch border of red silk ribbon is outlined with bands of black silk. Included at the time of donation was a paper hexagon pattern cut from a letter dated Sept. 14, 1835, that had fallen off the quilt.
Eliza Jane Todd was born in Indiana in 1820, the daughter of Robert William Todd (1795?-1885) and Catherine McCully (1800-1860), granddaughter of Owen Todd (1762-1817) and Maria Jane Paxton (1771-1834). The family was related to Mary Todd Lincoln, and Thomas Paxton, who fought at Valley Forge. Eliza never married. She died in 1895 and is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in Jacksonville, Florida.
Eliza Jane lived with her parents in Madison, Indiana, for most of her life. Later (about 1880) she stayed with her sister, Anna Maria Todd Smith, in Chattanooga, Tennessee and Florida. In the 1850s, The Western Horticultural Review (Volume III, 1853) noted “. . . that a female competitor has successfully entered the lists in the department of Pomology, and feel bound to allude in flattering terms to the fruits presented by Miss E.J. Todd, of Madison (Indiana)” Eliza Jane (E.J. Todd) was the recipient of several awards for her fruits (pears, grapes, quinces), preserves and floral arrangements.
Until the donation, the quilt had been in the donor’s family. After Eliza Jane’s death, the quilt was with Anna Maria Todd Smith who was the donor’s grandmother. In 1936, the donor, Anna Perkins Stewart, donated her great aunt's quilt to the Museum.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1835-1850
maker
Todd, Eliza Jane
place made
United States: Indiana, Madison
Physical Description
fabric, silk (overall material)
thread, silk (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 88 in x 74 in; 224 cm x 188 cm
ID Number
TE.T07742
accession number
138944
catalog number
T07742
Credit Line
Mrs. Anna Perkins Stewart
subject
Quilting
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Domestic Furnishings
Quilts
Textiles
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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