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Pieced Quilt by Alberta Miller

1974
Origin: America, Alabama, Dallas County
63" wide by 77 1/32" long, with irregular contours
Wool, cotton, synthetic textiles
Gift of Olivia Alison
Acc. No. 2003.609.1
Rectangular quilt with irregular outlines, pieced together from plaid and solid textiles made of wool, cotton, and synthetics. Colors include black, orange, maroon, green, blue, and yellow. Quilt is made of various sizes and shapes of rectangles, hand-stitched together in rows and blocks. The hand-quilting stitches use white cotton thread in random vertical, horizontal, and slanted rows, 2 to 3 quilting stitches per inch. Blue cotton backing is brought to front to form a wide binding at top and bottom. The coarse batting consists of unrefined cotton from the local gin, with fragments of seeds and stalks. Textiles include the following: 5 different wool and synthetic plaids, pale green heather wool, blue solid wool, orange polyester knit, black solid wool, blue napped twill, green solid wool, maroon solid wool, yellow cotton-synthetic poplin, and black-white nubby plaid.
Label:Scrap Quilt; made by Alberta Miller (d. 1999); Dallas County, Alabama; 1974; cotton, woolens, and synthetic fabrics; 77 ½" x 63"; 2003.609.1, gift of Olivia Alison. With its asymmetrically designed piecing and free running stitches, this quilt relates to those made by other African-American quiltmakers in Gee's Bend, Wilcox County, Alabama, adjacent to Dallas County, where this quiltmaker lived. The quilt was made by Alberta Miller as a high-school graduation gift for her young white neighbor, Olivia Alison. Mrs. Miller worked as a housekeeper and babysitter for the Sommers family who lived next door to the Alisons. The coarse batting in the quilt consists of unrefined cotton from the local gin, with fragments of seeds and stalks still present.
Provenance:Given to donor as a graduation gift from quiltmaker in 1974.