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Unknown Maker

Pieced Quilt (One Patch on Point)
about 1830 Probably Pennsylvania
chintzes; quilted in complex geometric patterns
95 1/2 x 75 1/4 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Patricia Smith Melton

This opulently hued quilt is framed by a lush English chintz of the 1810s, block-printed with a double border. To avoid unsightly overlaps in color, the designer left a white edge around the floral motifs. During the first quarter of the century, such multibordered designs were very popular. Needlewomen cut off the ornamental strips and sewed them as separate borders onto curtains and bedcovers. The squares in the body of the quilt are made from three different English chintzes with rich caramel, mocha, or dark plum grounds. Although the construction is simple—similar to marble tile floor patterns—the density of the printed motifs and the sumptuous color scheme give this quilt the look of a dark-toned Oriental carpet. Among all-chintz quilts, it is a masterpiece.