Paper template pieced star quilt fragment, c. 1871. The shapes used for this quilt are unusual – a whole six-pointed star, diamonds and elongated hexagons. The paper template method allowed for precise fit and crisp points in this wool example. Note the interesting papers used as templates; one is dated 1871. That, along with the distinctive color combination, help date this fragment. It was a gift to the Museum in 1926 by Mrs. Harriette Kershaw Leiding and may have been made by her mother, Susan DeSaussure Kershaw, wife of Rev. John Kershaw, later rector at St. Michael’s Church.
This interesting pattern was actually published in Godey’s Lady’s Book, September 1854 on page 269. It instructed readers on paper-template piecing, fabric selection and finishing techniques.
Godey’s Lady’s Book was a magazine marketed specifically to women. Published by Louis A. Godey of Philadelphia from 1830 to 1878 (and after his death until 1898), the issues contained poetry, articles, engravings, sheet music, hand-tinted fashions and needlework crafts. Sarah Josepha Hale (author of Mary Had a Little Lamb) was its editor from 1837 until 1877. When she started, the magazine had a circulation of 10,000 subscribers; two years later it was 40,000 and by 1860 had 150,000 subscribers. Publication continued during the Civil War with little mention of war events or activities and it was extremely difficult to obtain copies in the South.
To learn more about mosaic patchwork quilts and even Marina Gregg, see our publication Mosaic Quilts: Paper Template Piecing in the Lowcountry. Also, the Museum is offering a Traditional Mosaic Quilting Workshop on April 30, 2011.
TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from our textile collection. Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our new Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. Occasionally we’ll throw in a shameless commerce link, but only if we think it’s a good opportunity for you to learn more. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday