pieced

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Pieced Star Quilt

Dated 1853

Made by Mary Maccubbin Waters Waters (1817-1864)

104 inches square
15-17 stitches per inch

Gift of Joyce R. Hawkins
2002.56
Conservation funded by Gretchen Wurth in honor of Randall Garner Jackson and future generations

Location

Clarksburg, Montgomery County, Maryland

Clarksburg, Montgomery County, Maryland

Design

The quilt’s most elegant and artistic feature is its elaborate, varied, and unique quilting designs. Extra fine stitching outlines birds, fish, people, flowers, and other motifs in a rare display of artistic skill.

Maker

A quilt made by Mary’s aunt and sister-in-law, with identical quilting patterns (see nearby case), shows that Waters quilted with her neighboring relatives. In Mary’s own household, her stepdaughter and several enslaved women were also available to help with the sewing.

Material

Block- and roller-printed and solid cottons; cotton filling, backing, and binding

Blue and brown were a stylish combination throughout the 1840s and 1850s. The shaded or “fondu” (French for “melted) sashing fabric was popular at this time.

Quilting Patterns Early 1850s

Quilting Patterns   Early 1850s

Fish
____
Remarkably, the paper patterns for Mary Waters’s quilting designs survive. Their artistic skill (family history relates that some women in the family were art teachers) is matched by the extremely fine needle skills needed to translate them onto cloth.

Artist Unknown, a member of the Waters/Dorsey/Woodbourne family
Pencil and ink on paper
Loan courtesy of the Montgomery County Historical Society

Pomegranate
_____________
Artist Unknown, a member of the Waters/Dorsey/Woodbourne family
Pencil and ink on paper
Loan courtesy of the Montgomery County Historical Society

Cornucopia
___________

The DAR Museum staff brought Mary Waters’s quilt to the Montgomery County Historical Society, who owns over forty pages of quilting designs (used on their quilt made by Mary’s neighboring relatives), so that the designs could be matched up with the DAR’s quilt. These snapshots were taken during that excursion.

Artist Unknown, a member of the Waters/Dorsey/Woodbourne family
Pencil and ink on paper
Loan courtesy of the Montgomery County Historical Society

Tree
____

Artist Unknown, a member of the Waters/Dorsey/Woodbourne family
Pencil and ink on paper
Loan courtesy of the Montgomery County Historical Society

Appliqué

Albums

Pieced

Migration