Embroidered in the lower left corner of this Brooklyn, New York, quilt is the quilter's name, "Susan Rogers," with the date "1867." Each of the twenty-five blocks has a different design and most of them contain an embroidered name or initials of a family member. The quilt was donated to the Museum by the wife of Susan Rogers's great-great-grandson.
A tree filled with birds is the detailed design of the block containing Susan Rogers's name. On one of the branches there is a robin holding a worm in its beak, and a nest with three open-mouthed baby birds begging to be fed, while a seated cat waits patiently below. Other blocks contain appliquéd symbols of military service or membership in benevolent and fraternal organizations. Seven of the blocks contain tiny appliquéd United States flags as part of their patriotic designs. The majority of the blocks have floral motifs. The name "Nellie," Susan's thirteen-year-old granddaughter is embroidered under a basket of flowers. Another floral motif block has the initials "E L," probably for Emma Louise, Susan's ten-year-old granddaughter. A vase decorated with the image of a young boy, cut from printed cotton, and filled with flowers, has "Mother" embroidered underneath it.
The focus of the album quilt, the center block, is a decorated tree. The presents or decorations include baskets of fruit and flowers, oranges, stockings, a cane, a candy cane, a ladder, parasols, an umbrella, a bottle of bitters, a fish, a bird, a mitten, a slipper, a picture of a dog in an oval frame, a cat on a mat, a pipe, a watch, a bird in a cage, and other gifts. A few are marked with names or initials. Under the fenced-in base of the tree, Susan embroidered "Merry Christmas." Susan Rogers's quilt is a charming example of the mid-nineteenth-century album quilt, each block unique and personalized.
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