appliqué

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Tree of Life and Grapevine Quilt

1810s

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

Location

Maryland

Design

A meandering vine often frames medallion quilts’ centers. The grass-like border suggests the enclosure of the tree and flowering vines within a textile garden. This border exists on only one other known quilt, believed to be Virginian.

Do you see the spider dangling from the branch above the bird on the right of the tree trunk? His body is mostly lost, but look for his legs.

Maker

The quilt originates in this region, but its maker is unknown.

Material

Block-printed linen; block-printed, indigo resist printed, and plain cottons; cotton filling and backing; modern machine-sewn cotton binding

The blue border is probably an example of the “lapis blue” printing method, the latest dyeing technology invented in 1808.

Flowering Tree Prints

These flowering tree prints along with the print in the Tree of Life and Grapevine Quilt are nearly, but not quite, identical. Textile printers copied each other ruthlessly. Bolster Cover, gift of Mrs. Watson A. Bowron (9.2)

Detail from Tree of Life and Birds Quilt, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James R. Kappler; Conservation adopted by Massachusetts DAR, 84.83

Appliqué

Albums

Pieced

Migration