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Unknown Maker

Pieced Quilt (Honeycomb)
about 1830 New England
chintzes, calicoes, and white cotton; quilted in concentric hexagons and diagonal lines
58 x 57 3/4 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Patricia Smith Melton

During the early decades of the nineteenth century, all quilt designs based on hexagonal units were simply termed “honeycomb.” Not until the 1890s, when a mail order firm called the Ladies' Art Company began to sell standardized patchwork patterns nationwide, were designs more consistently given the descriptive or poetic names by which they are known today. Now, this pattern would be a variant of “Flower Garden with Fence.” Made for a child's bed, it was constructed with a chintz whole-cloth border.