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Quilt by Sarah Winifred Cobb

ca. 1850
Origin: America, Kentucky, Richmond, Madison County, Cobb Hill
OH: 73 in.; OW: 62 1/2 in.
Plain and printed cotton
Gift of Katherine Phelps Burnam Flood
Acc. No. 2019.609.2
This is a quilt pieced in a honeycomb pattern with quilting that follows the hexagons that make up the honeycomb, 8 running stitches per inch. The front consists of pink, red, white, brown, and yellow plain and printed cottons, with a backing of natural-colored cotton. The binding of the quilt, a brown cotton, has been brought to the back to create a narrow edge. A hand-written note included with the quilt states, "Quilt pieced by my Mother, Mrs. Thos. Phelps / (Sarah Winifred Cobb, 1842-1917) when eight/years of age, under the direction of / Rachel, the slave of her father's family / who presided over the nursery for two / generations at "Cobb Hill - and to whom / my mother was very devoted. / "Amberley" / May 17 1934. / K.P.C. / 90 years old. / Date of this quilt. 1850—"
Label:This pieced quilt in a pattern often referred to as "Grandmother's Flower Garden" is one of four quilts owned by mother and daughter, Sarah Winifred Cobb Phelps (1842-1917) and Katherine Cobb Phelps Caperton (1866-1945). A label attached to the quilt tells the remarkable story of how the quilt was pieced by eight-year-old Sarah under the direction of the enslaved Rachel, who presided over the nursery at the family home Cobb Hill.
Provenance:Provenance: Sarah Winifred Cobb’s quilt was passed down to her daughter, Katherine Cobb Phelps Caperton. It was then given to her daughter, Mary Jamie Caperton, who gave it to her son, James Caperton Burnam. James gave it to Katherine Burnam Flood, who has given it to Colonial Williamsburg. Kathy Flood is the great, great granddaughter of Sarah Winifred Cobb. The quilt was passed down to the first-born child in each family.
History of Quilt Maker:
Sarah “Sallie” Winifred Cobb (December 11th, 1842-December 13th, 1917) was born in Estill, Kentucky to Minerva Park and Richard Cobb (1818-1900), a large land-holder and prominent citizen in Lincoln County, Kentucky. She grew up in the family home, Cobb Hill. She married Thomas Phelps, an honored citizen of Madison County and a graduate of Georgetown College, Kentucky. The pair moved from their home, Knockbuckle, to Dreaming Creek Heights. Sarah and Thomas had two daughters, Katherine Cobb Phelps (May 11th, 1866-July 15th, 1945) and Minerva Park Cobb Phelps (1870-1942). Sarah Winifred Cobb died on December 13th, 1917 in Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky. Family provenance states that Sarah made this quilt around 1850, with the help of her enslaved nanny.
Inscription(s):A hand-written note included with the quilt states, "Quilt pieced by my Mother, Mrs. Thos. Phelps / (Sarah Winifred Cobb, 1842-1917) when eight/years of age, under the direction of / Rachel, the slave of her father's family / who presided over the nursery for two / generations at "Cobb Hill - and to whom / my mother was very devoted. / "Amberley" / May 17 1934. / K.P.C. / 90 years old. / Date of this quilt. 1850—"