Maryland Appliquéd Album Quilt
Origin: America, Maryland, Kent County
OH 104" x OW 100" (254.0 cm. x 264.2 cm.)
7-8 running stitches per inch
Plain and printed cottons with wool embroidery threads
Acc. No. 1973.609.3
This is an appliquéd quilt with 18 full-size blocks and 14 half-size blocks containing wreaths of flowers, baskets and other stylized patterns. The blocks are set on point and separated by bands (sashing) of red printed cotton that diagonally crisscross the quilt. The dominating colors are reds, yellows and greens set on a white background with blue and brown patches added for contrast. No two squares are alike. Some blocks have serrated flowers in their baskets. Other blocks include a circle of berries and leaves; four tulips in geometric pattern; an open hand with various Odd Fellow symbols; an open hand with a heart in it; and an oak leaf pattern. There are white triangles (half blocks) around the border which contain a semi-circle garland of six red balls and eight diamond-shaped "leaves." A red border surrounds the quilt. Delicate quilting can be seen in each white square.
Materials and Construction: Wool embroidery threads appear in only one block: the wreath of green leaves and red and yellow flowers has a vine of embroidered olive green wool. The quilting was done about 6-7 stitches to the inch in double rows of parallel lines in the sashing. Quilting stitches outline the motifs in the blocks, and the blank spaces around the motifs are quilted in a wide variety of abstract and stylized designs. The backing consists of three strips of fairly coarse plain-weave white cotton having a 35 1/2" selvage. The outer edges of the backing are turned over to the front and hemmed to form a binding.
Label:This quilt uses blocks similar to those on Baltimore album quilts and sets them on an angle through the use of wide diagonal sashing, creating a bold and striking design. When viewed flat in a photograph or museum exhibit case, the quilt's sideways motifs may seem disconcerting. However, when used on a bed that one could walk around in any direction, the design would be far easier to comprehend and appreciate. The quilting was done about six stitches to the inch in double rows of parallel lines and a wide variety of abstract and stylized designs. Wool embroidery threads create a vine of olive green in one block featuring a wreath with green leaves and red and yellow flowers.
Another block incorporates symbols associated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, although no connection between the maker's family and that organization has yet been established. Seen within the right bottom block, the heart within an open hand represents sincerity and the three links represent Friendship, Love, and Truth in Odd Fellows symbolism. The bow and arrows, pair of compasses, Bible, and crescent moon also appear in Odd Fellows imagery. The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was first established in Baltimore in 1819 as a benevolent and social society that provided mutual help for its members.
On February 25, 1831, Lydia Naomi Covington married John T. Lomas Palmatary (1810-1890), a farmer of Kent County, Delaware. By 1850, the family had moved to Kent County, Maryland, where presumably this quilt was created. The quilt was handed down to their eldest daughter and continued to descend in the female line of the family until it was acquired by the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.
Provenance:Born March 14, 1812, Lydia Naomi Covington married John T. Lomas Palmatary (1810-1890), a farmer of Kent County, Delaware, on February 25, 1831. By 1850, the family had moved to Kent County, Maryland, where presumably this quilt was created. Lydia died November 23, 1900. The quilt was handed down to their eldest daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Palmatary Wilson (March 14, 1833-1899, married Jessie Wilson, Baltimore); to Lydia Cassandra Wilson Brown (1861-1938, married Henry Brown, Chestertown, MD); to Nina Virginia brown Burt (1885-1962, married Fred A. Burt, Mannington, W VA); to Virginia Wilson Burt O'Sheel (b. 1912, married Patrick O'Sheel, Washington, D. C.); until it was acquired by the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum in 1973.
Mark(s):No marks or inscriptions
Inscription(s):No marks or inscriptions