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Hexagon or Mosaic Quilt

Dated 1840

Made by Temperance Ann Money Benson (1816-1885)

69 in. W x 76 in. L
9-12 stitches per inch

Gift of Edith Louise Coleman Roberts in memory of Henry Benson Roberts Jr.
Conservation funded by Linda B. Guest and Maryland Daughters


Cecil County, Maryland

Cecil County, Maryland


Hexagon quilts were fashionable in Europe from the 1700s on, and became popular throughout America. The women’s magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book published instructions in 1835 for a mosaic quilt, believed to be the first published quilt design in this country.


Temperance was born in Maryland near the Delaware border, married John Benson in 1836 in Delaware, and lived her early married life in Cecil County before moving to Kent County in the 1850s. The initials “TAB” and “JTB” (for John T. and Temperance A. Benson) are cross-stitched with the date 1840 near the center.


Block- and roller-printed and solid cottons; silk embroidery; cotton filling and backing

Temperance used dozens of small-scale cotton prints, mostly the kind used for dresses and other clothing, for her quilt. In her arrangement, each of her hexagon clusters uses nine different prints.