1855 - 1860 Millie Medaris's "Ocean Wave" Quilt

In 1939, Millie Medaris’s granddaughter donated this “Ocean Wave” pieced quilt. Unfortunately, little is known at this time about the quilt maker. The “Ocean Wave” has been a popular pattern at various times and this mid-nineteenth-century quilt provides a competently rendered example.
The quilt is composed of fourteen-inch blocks pieced of plain and printed triangles around plain cotton centers. A three-inch white cotton border frames the “Ocean Wave” pattern, enhanced by a ¾-inch printed cotton strip along the inside edges of the two sides. The fabrics used, typical of the late 1850s, are plain-colored, roller-printed, and checked cottons. All the pieced triangles are outline-quilted, with clamshell quilting on the white centers and double diagonal lines on the border. It is finely quilted, 10 stitches per inch.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Medaris, Millie
Physical Description
fabric, cotton (overall material)
thread, cotton (overall material)
filling, cotton (overall material)
overall: 88 in x 70 in; 223 cm x 179 cm
place made
United States: Indiana, Spencer
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Domestic Furnishings
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Clara Searcy

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