1840 - 1850 Powell's Quilted and Stuffed Counterpane

1840 - 1850 Powell's Quilted and Stuffed Counterpane

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Martha Powell created this quilted and stuffed counterpane. Stuffed work refers to the technique of adding extra cotton wadding under the designs before quilting, resulting in a three dimensional effect. The center of this counterpane is a sunburst in a laurel wreath surrounded by a flowering vine. This is in turn is framed by arcs of flowering vines. Around the outside edge are baskets of fruit and sprays of flowers. It has a cotton lining and filling. All the stuffed motifs are outlined in quilting. The background is quilted in a triple diagonal grid, 11 stitches per inch. No separate binding, front brought to back 1/4" and whipped.
Martha Powell was born in DeKalb County, Georgia, on August 6 1831. She married Fielding Travis Powell (1828-1898) in 1849 or 1857. He practiced law, was a surgeon during the Civil War, and was also known for his many writings in various fields. They had two sons, and a daughter (donor of the quilt). Martha died in 1917 and is buried in Atlanta, Georgia.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Powell, Martha
place made
United States: Georgia, Atlanta
Physical Description
thread, cotton (overall material)
fabric, cotton (overall material)
filling, cotton (overall material)
overall: 93 in x 86 in; 236 cm x 218 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Miss Ella May Powell
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Textiles
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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