1812 - 1814 "Pinwheel" Quilt

In 1962 a great-great-granddaughter of one of the makers of this quilt donated it to the Museum with the information that it had been made by women in the Adams family. They were said to have made the quilt while the men were away during the War of 1812. The donor’s great-grandfather was Jackson Adams, her great-great uncle, Joshua Adams, and her grandmother, Jane Adams.
This quilt is made up of 7-inch blocks pieced in the "Pinwheel" pattern, alternating with plain white blocks. Detailed stuffed quilting embellishes the white blocks and border. Ten different quilting patterns are used for the plain blocks, all but one repeated.
The 8-inch white border has a quilted-and-stuffed feathered vine with small quilted-and-stuffed floral motifs. White cotton fabric was used for the lining, cotton fiber for the filling and stuffing. The pieced blocks and border are quilted at 9 stitches per inch. The “Pinwheel” Quilt, with its contrast of elaborate stuffed quilting and simply pieced blocks, is a fine example of early 19th-century quilting making.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Physical Description
fabric, cotton (overall material)
thread, cotton, linen (overall material)
filling, cotton (overall material)
overall: 90 in x 82 in; 229 cm x 208 cm
place made
United States: Maryland
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Domestic Furnishings
Family & Social Life
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. Cecil H. Naylor
Additional Media

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