1817 Elizabeth Shaffer's Quilted and Stuffed Counterpane

1817 Elizabeth Shaffer's Quilted and Stuffed Counterpane

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According to the family, Elizabeth Shaffer created this example of a quilted and stuffed counterpane in 1817 when she was 15 years old. She married John Snyder in 1819 at the Somerset Trinity Lutheran Church in Somerset, Pennsylvania.
The quilting is “stuffed,” that is, before the needlework is undertaken, the designs are under laid with extra cotton wadding which causes the elaborate flower and fruit patterns to stand out in a relief effect.
The forty-nine-inch square framed center contains a basket of pineapples surrounded by sunflowers. The outer border, 17 ½-inches wide at the top and bottom and 18 ½-inches wide at sides, has a meandering grape vine. Cotton was used for the lining, filling and stuffing. All motifs outlined and stuffed; the background is quilted in parallel diagonal lines 3/8" apart. It is precisely quilted at 10 stitches per inch. No separate binding.
Elizabeth’s needlework skills produced a fine example of early 19th century white-work, possibly made in preparation for her household.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Shaffer, Elizabeth
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Somerset
Physical Description
fabric, cotton (overall material)
thread, cotton, linen (overall material)
overall: 84 in x 87 in; 213 cm x 221 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. U.M. Phillippi, Mrs. clare J. Shiner, and Miss Emma B. Casebeer
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Textiles
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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