1880 - 1890 Martha Thomas's "Fan" Parlor Throw

The fan motif, often found on crazy-patchwork, is the dominant pattern for the twenty-five, 10-inch blocks composed of a variety of silk, satin, velvet, and taffeta fabrics. Both machine and hand-stitched blocks are joined with a chain stitch by machine. The original binding or border was removed before it was donated to the Museum in 1963, by the Sewing Group, Emmanuel Episcopal Church.
Martha Ada Mumma was born July 7, 1859. She married Jacob Emmanuel Thomas (1852-1908) in 1879. They were both born and married in Washington County, Md., and later lived in Baltimore, where their two sons were born. Martha died in Maryland in 1943. Her parlor throw is an example of late 19th-century needlework, exhibiting both hand and machine stitching.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Thomas, Martha Ada
Physical Description
fabric, silk, satin, velvet, taffeta (overall material)
thread; cotton, silk (overall material)
overall: 52 in x 52 in; 131 cm x 131 cm
place made
United States: Maryland
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 the Sewing Group, Emmanuel Episcopel Church

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