1850 - 1875 Fannie Gatewood Grimes's "Harvest Sun" Wool Quilt

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Fannie Gatewood Grimes pieced nine 21-inch examples of the “Harvest Sun” pattern (also known as “Prairie Star” or “Star of Bethlehem”) to fashion this wool quilt in the third quarter of the nineteenth century. In 1988 it was donated to the Smithsonian by her granddaughter, Mary Harding Renshaw.
The “Harvest Sun” blocks were pieced with wool fabrics and set with a 6-inch dark green wool sashing. Contributing to the overall design, the 3½-inch borders are made with the same red wool that was used as a background for the pieced blocks. The lining is black twill-woven cotton. The quilting patterns consist of outline and diagonal grid, quilted 7 stitches per inch.
Frances (Fannie) Price Gatewood was the daughter of Fielding Gatewood (1787-1833?) and Nancy Williams Gatewood (b. 1791). She was born March 22, 1822 in Logan County, Kentucky, one of four children. Fannie married James T. Grimes (about 1814–1869) on December 19, 1840. They lived in Logan County where James was a sheriff and a farmer. Of their eight children, two died in childhood. Family information described James as a tall, red-headed Irishman with a temper, and Fannie as liking nothing more than smoking a pipe filled with cherry leaves. On the 1880 census, Fannie is head-of-household, keeping house in Keysburg, Logan County, for her son and daughter, their spouses, a granddaughter and her mother, Nancy, age 89. Her son is listed as a leaf tobacco dealer and her son-in-law as a distiller. Fannie died on December 11, 1914, at age 92, and is buried in the Grimes Cemetery in Logan County.
In 1993, Fannie’s “Harvest Sun” wool quilt was reproduced under license to Cabin Creek, a West Virginian quilting cooperative and sold through the Land’s End Catalog. This was in response to an outcry by American quilters who were concerned about the sale of Chinese reproductions of American quilts from the Smithsonian Collection. The reproduction “Harvest Sun” quilt was made by American hand quilters with cotton fabrics that were purchased from American mills.
Currently not on view
date made
Grimes, Fannie Gatewood
place made
United States: Kentucky, Keysburg
Physical Description
fabric, wool, cotton (overall material)
thread, cotton, silk (overall material)
filling, cotton (overall material)
overall: 84 in x 82 in; 213 cm x 207 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Mary Harding Renshaw
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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