1850 - 1875 Mary Maphis Copp's Pieced Quilt

Mary Maphis Copp pieced this cotton quilt in the mid-19th century. The center panel consists of alternating “Nine-patch” and plain white 6" blocks. It is framed by a border of 24 blocks in the“Sunflower” or “Blazing Star” pattern.
The sunflowers are unusual in that they have nineteen petals. The quilting patterns of outline, double-line diagonal grid, and parallel lines enhance the design. There is no separate binding; instead the back was brought to the front and whipstitched. The quilt is a distinctive combination of a simple pattern in the center panel with a more complicated pattern in the border blocks.
Mary C. [Catherine] Maphis was born September 8, 1831, to John H. and Fannie V. Headley Maphis in Woodstock, Va. She married George W. Copp (1825-1899), a farmer, on November 7, 1850. They settled at Fisher’s Hill, a small village near Strasburg, Va. George and Mary had eight children: Frances (1851-1943), John W. (1852-1917), William H. (b. 1854), David E. (1855-1926), Silas A. ( 1856-1926), Barbara R. (b. 1859), George V. (b. 1862), and Benjamin (b. 1872). According to family information, their home was the site of a Civil War battle. It was burned and all their belongings lost.
Fisher’s Hill was part of Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign September 21-22, 1864. The Confederate Army retreated (casualty estimates of 1,235 to the Union’s 528) and left the Valley open to a “scorched earth” invasion in which dwellings and other buildings were burnt from Staunton to Strasburg, Virginia.
The Copp family eventually relocated to Strasburg. Mary died on February 11, 1886. She is buried in the Strasburg Presbyterian Church Cemetery. The quilt was donated to the National Museum by her granddaughter Mrs. Irene Copp Pifer, the daughter of Mary’s son, John W. Copp.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Copp, Mary C. Maphis
Physical Description
fabric, cotton (overall material)
thread, cotton (overall material)
filling, cotton (overall material)
overall: 91 in x 73 in; 231 cm x 185 cm
Place Made
United States: Virginia, Strasburg
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
Mrs. Irene Copp Pifer

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