1865 - 1875 Lizzie Lisle's "Fold and Cut" Appliqued Quilt

Lizzie Lisle appliquéd this red and white quilt in about 1870, probably in Cadiz, Iowa before her marriage. Sixteen 14¾ -inch blocks are appliquéd with red conventionalized flowers and four spade-shaped leaves. Each flower has cut-outs forming a cross, revealing the white ground beneath. The center is framed by a 2-inch red band. An 11-inch white border is embellished with a traditional appliqué pattern of swags, bows, and tassels.
This quilt was referred to in a 1949 Woman’s Day magazine as a “Lincoln Drape” quilt. In the period from 1865 to 1875, a popular swag pattern known as “Lincoln Drape” was used to commemorate the death of Abraham Lincoln and can be found on other decorative items such as glassware. The whole piece is quilted 11 to 12 stitches per inch, with diagonal grid and triple diagonal line patterns.
Elizabeth (Lizzie) Lisle, born in Ohio in 1836, was the daughter of John Lisle (1803-1890s) and Elizabeth Johnston (1811-1889). Members of the extended Lisle family were early settlers in Jefferson and Harrison Counties in Ohio, but many also moved westward and settled in Iowa. It was in Jasper County, Iowa, on February 11, 1886, that Lizzie married Eden Randall. Eden was born in Delaware County, Ohio, about 1840 and served in the Civil War (Co. G, 3rd Iowa Volunteer Infantry).
Mustered in June 8, 1861, Eden was taken prisoner on April 6, 1862, in Shiloh, Tennessee. In January 1863 he was part of a prisoner exchange and rejoined his company, only to be severely wounded in the face and mouth on June 12, 1863, at Vicksburg, Tennessee. He recovered in a hospital in Keokuk, Iowa. Elizabeth and Eden had no children. Lizzie is buried in Fairview Township, Jasper County, Iowa. Her grandniece generously donated two of Lizzie Lisle's quilts to the Smithsonian in 1949.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Lisle, Lizzie
Physical Description
fabric, cotton (overall material)
thread, cotton (overall material)
filling, cotton (overall material)
overall: 85 in x 84 in; 215 cm x 212 cm
place made
United States: Ohio, Cadiz
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. John P. Flannery

Visitor Comments

1/25/2013 9:00:32 PM
Diane Shink
Is there a reason why dimensions are not included in the information. I am also wondering if is is possible to get information on the web regarding construction methods and fiber content of the quilts. Wonderful to see the quilts and. get the sociological information I woud call the above quilt a paper cut applique design
7/18/2013 9:07:06 AM
National Museum of American History
The Lisle quilt can also be seen on the Smithsonian’s Collections Search Center at http://collections.si.edu/search/results.htm?q=lisle&tag.cstype=all. There, the measurements and materials are included in the expanded view. The appliqued motifs in the center of the quilt may well have been made from a folded-and-cut paper design.
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