1880 - 1900 Orrie Belle Little's Crazy Patch Parlor Throw

Crazy-patched square and rectangular blocks were assembled to make Orrie Little’s Parlor Throw. The four corner blocks are made entirely of ribbons. A variety of silks, satins and velvets were used for the other blocks. The lining is a brown-and-black stripe printed fabric. The binding is made of 12 different ¾-inch ribbons, seamed to the lining and whip-stitched to the front. Embroidery is used to embellish the edges of the patches and along the bound edge.
Information given with the donation suggested a possible maker as the grandmother of the donor, Julia E. Harris Little of Hampton, New Hampshire (1828 – 1875). More likely the maker was Orrie Belle Little, Julia’s daughter and the donor’s mother. Orrie was born March 18, 1858 in Hampstead, New Hampshire. She taught music before marrying Edwin S. Pressey in 1887. He was a Congregational minister and they had two children: Sidney and Julia (donor). The variety of fabrics and the examples of embroidery stitches (herringbone, chain, feather, straight, detached chain, and, seed) make it a nice example of fancy needlework at the end of the 19th century.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Little, Orrie Belle
Physical Description
fabric, silk, satin, velvet, ribbon, cotton (overall material)
thread, silk, cotton (overall material)
overall: 68 in x 68 in; 173 cm x 173 cm
place made
United States: New Hampshire, Hampton
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 Miss Julia C. Pressey
Additional Media

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