Quilts

Albums

THE ALBUM NATIONWIDE
The fad for album quilts sprang from the popularity of paper albums: books with signatures, drawings, and poems gathered from friends and family. Made by one individual or many, fabric squares replaced the paper pages to create album quilts. They were made to mark a rite of passage or to reinforce the bonds of family, religious community, or group membership.

THE ALBUM IN MARYLAND
Different styles of album quilts evolved throughout the country, but the Baltimore Album was a distinct version copied throughout Maryland. Block styles vary, but all are distinctive for their complexity of design, large block size, and bold colors. Identical blocks with identical fabrics are found on multiple quilts, suggesting production for sale commercially. Research continues to better understand the blocks’ design sources and dispersal.

Appliqué

Albums

Pieced

Migration

Mary Simon-Style Baltimore Album Quilt Top

Unknown Maker

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Baltimore Album Quilt

Made for Betsey Hobbs Harper (b. ca. 1810) and William Harper (b. ca. 1804)

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Baltimore Album Quilt

Made by Ruth Pettit Penn (b. ca. 1807)

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Maryland Album Quilt Top

Made by Eliza and Sarah Waring and other family members

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Baltimore Album Quilt

Quiltmaker Unknown

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Maryland Album Quilt

Made by Cornelia Amanda Everhart Wissler (1836-1921)
Quilted by Kate Wissler in 1907

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Maryland Album Quilt

Made by Mary Mannakee Nicholls (1827-1916)

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Maryland Album Quilt

Unknown Maker

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Video: Album Quilts

The Album quilts represent what I call the democratization of elegance...more segments of the middle class and the artisan class could participate in making objects of refinement.
-- Alden O'Brien, DAR Curator of Textiles and Costumes

Appliqué

Albums

Pieced

Migration