pieced

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Sunburst Quilt

1830s

Quiltmaker Unknown

89 in. W x 91 in. L
6-7 stitches per inch

Gift of Lars J. and Frederick Cain
85.91.1

Location

Virginia

Virginia

Design

The kaleidoscope, invented in 1816, created a huge sensation. Its startling new imagery influenced quilts and other decorative arts. Starburst quilts’ small pieces in mirror-image segments recalled the tiny glass pieces reflected by mirrors inside a kaleidoscope.

Maker

The quilt is of Virginia origin, but its family history is unknown.

Material

Roller-printed cottons; cotton filling; roller-printed backing; cotton twill tape binding

The outer fabric is an elegant and costly large-scale furnishing chintz. The quilt maker was showcasing both her skill at piecing a difficult design, and her ability to purchase plenty of yards of costly fabric for the border.

Appliqué

Albums

Pieced

Migration