Quilts

Appliqué

In appliqué, motifs are cut out and sewn onto a ground fabric. Appliqué (French for “applied”) was popular in American quilts in the first half of the 1800s. The Framed (or Center) Medallion layout, with a central area surrounded by a series of concentric borders, was the most popular format until the 1830s.

Costly large-scale floral and birds fabrics were extensively used in mid-Atlantic and Southern appliqué quilts. Maryland and Virginia quiltmakers frequently combined pieced borders with an appliqué center.

Appliqué does not imply thrift. Quiltmakers bought luxurious imported fabrics especially for their quilts. Cut-out motifs wasted huge amounts of cloth, and sewing them required ample leisure time, implying availability of servants to do more mundane tasks.

Appliqué

Albums

Pieced

Migration

Appliqué and Reverse Appliqué

Eagle Quilt

Made by Anna Catharine Hummel Markey Garnhart (1773-1860)
Quilted in 1846 by Anna Catharine Markey (1824-1907)

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Appliqué and Reverse Appliqué

Eagle Quilt

Made by Anna Catharine Hummel Markey Garnhart (1773-1860)

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Appliqué and Reverse Appliqué

Flower Basket Quilt

Made by Anna Catharine Hummel Markey Garnhart (1773-1860)

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Appliqué and Reverse Appliqué

Flower Basket Quilt

Made by Anna Catharine Hummel Markey Garnhart (1773-1860)

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Framed Medallion Quilt
Framed Medallion Quilt

Made by Amelia Heiskell Lauck (1760-1842)

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Framed Medallion Quilt, 1820s
Framed Medallion Quilt

Made by Amelia Heiskell Lauck (1760-1842)

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Chintz Appliqué Counterpane

Made by Achsah Goodwin Wilkins (1775-1854),
possibly with Milcah Dorsey Goodwin (1747-1829) or
Milcah Goodwin Dorsey (1782-1850)

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Tree of Life and Birds Quilt

Made by Catherine “Caty” Parker Custis (1753-1840)

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Tree of Life and Grapevine Quilt

91 in. W x 95 in. L
8-10 stitches per inch; modern machine-stitched binding

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James R. Kappler
81.43

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Pheasant and Plum Tree Quilt

Attributed to Arianna Sollers Bouldin (1816-1879)

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Floral Appliqué Quilt

Made by Rebecca Sands Gladstone (1795-after1860) and Rebecca Gladstone Harker (1824-98)

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Framed Medallion and Stuffed Work Quilt
Framed Medallion and Stuffed Work Quilt

Made by Martha Harness Darst (1788-1854)
and Elizabeth Yoakum Harness (1743?-1815)

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Video: Applique Quilts

This is not something you would do out of thrift and necessity. It took a lot of this expensive, beautiful fabric, imported from England usually, and then it also took enormous amounts of leisure time to stitch around it.
-- Alden O'Brien, DAR Curator of Textiles and Costumes

Appliqué

Albums

Pieced

Migration