1835 - 1850 Shriver Sisters' "Sunburst" Quilt

This precisely pieced and stuffed-work quilt was crafted by Catherine and Anna Shriver of Funkstown, Maryland, in the mid-19th century. The circular designs, currently referred to as the “Sunburst” or “Mariner’s Compass” pattern, are set off by elaborate stuffed quilting, 9 stitches/inch. The same printed cotton was used for the design and the saw-toothed border that frames the quilt.
Anna, born October 23, 1821, and Catherine, born February 12, 1826, were the daughters of Elizabeth Grosh and Daniel Shriver. Catherine married Frisby Knode in 1845. Ann did not marry. Both died young, Anna on May 24, 1853; Catherine on March 15, 1854. The quilt was inherited by Catherine and Frisby’s son, William Shriver Knode, who passed it on to his daughter, Nina. She in turn requested that upon her death it be given to a museum for safekeeping. When she died, in 1940, her husband, William F. Heft, gave it to the Museum in her name.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Shriver, Anna
Shriver, Catherine
Physical Description
fabric, cotton (overall material)
thread, cotton (overall material)
filling, cotton (overall material)
overall: 93 in x 89 in; 237 cm x 227 cm
Place Made
United States: Maryland, Funkstown
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. Nina Knode Heft
Additional Media

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