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Mathematical Star quilt


Made by Amelia Heiskell Lauck (1760-1842)
and/or Eliza Jane Sowers Lauck (1812-72)

104 inches square
6-7 stitches per inch

Gift of Sally Ann Lauck Harris
Conservation funded by the Chicago Chapter and the Illinois State Society


Winchester, Frederick County or Page County, Virginia

Winchester, Frederick County or Page County, Virginia


This quilt represents a transition in the Mathematical Star quilt design. It combines the earlier style of corner motif—chintz appliqué—with the smaller eight-pointed star, which is coming into style along with calico appliqués.


Family history credits this quilt to Amelia Lauck, whose appliqué quilt is in this exhibit. Her daughter-in-law, Eliza, may be partially or fully responsible for it. Lauck, though a remarkable quiltmaker, was in her seventies when this was made. The quilt was passed down through descendants of Eliza and her husband William, Amelia’s youngest son, a preacher in the Luray area.


The “shaded” or “fondu” prints initially suggested an 1840s date for this quilt (suggesting Eliza was the maker, as Amelia died in 1842). Recently, we’ve learned that the technology for these prints dates to the 1820s, allowing us to reconsider Amelia as the quiltmaker.

Pillar Prints

“Pillar prints” like the one in the border were popular about 1820-1840. Note how the corner appliqués are made from pieces of this print. The pink print in the corner stars has faded badly, distorting the stars’ original effect.