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Appliqued Album Quilt by Amanda Leonard Williams (1842-1912)

ca. 1860
Origin: America, Probably Maryland, Talbot County
OH: 86' x OW: 70" (2218 x 178 cm)
Plain and printed cottons with ink inscription and cotton embellishment threads
Gift of Donald Haynie
Acc. No. 2013.609.7
This is a rectangular appliqued album quilt consisting of twenty blocks of appliqued motifs in faded shades of pink, green, red, blue, green, yellow/gold, and purple cottons on a white cotton ground. The appliqued motifs, created in both overlaid and underlaid techniques, include floral wreaths, tulip wreath, pineapples, spray of flowers, basket of flowers, pomegranate, grapevine wreath, pierced double heart with birds, star and leaf patterns, geometrics, and a ship with anchors. The ship block is created in underlaid applique techniques with chain stitched embellishment. The grapevine wreath block contains an inked inscription, ""M. [J.?] & M. [?] / [T?] ignor/ [S?]evil[s?]."
The quilt was originally edged in a folded 3/4" machine-stitched white cotton strip with an outer border of two-inch wide green and yellow printed cotton, which is still visible in bad condition on the quilt back. The quilt is currently edged on the front with a 2-inch printed red cotton. The quilt is backed in a plain white cotton made up of two panels. The batting is raw cotton containing seeds. The bedcover is quilted in outline around the appliqued motifs and squares and squares on point in the border in 6-7 running stitches per inch.
Label:Created about ten years after the enthusiasm for Baltimore album quilts reached its zenith, this album quilt illustrates the enduring popularity of the quilt style. Many of the appliqued motifs are similar to blocks found on high-style Baltimore album quilts, although overall they are not as sophisticated and lack the layering of fabrics and careful choice and placement of printed cottons that give the appliqued motifs on Baltimore album quilts their depth and texture.

Born in Maryland, Amanda Leonard married Thomas R. Williams of Northumberland County, Virginia. The quilt descended through the family of one of their three children.
Provenance:The quilt descended from the maker, Amanda Bell Leonard Williams (1842-1912) to her son Thomas Jackson Williams (1865-1925) to his daughter Olivia Miriam Williams Haynie (b. ca. 1907) to her godson, Donald Haynie.

History of quiltmaker:
Amanda Bell Leonard was born in Maryland in 1842 to Joshua Esgate Leonard (1803-1848) and Roseanna L. Battee McQuay Leonard (1808-1898). She was the oldest of four children, the youngest sibling born after her father’s death in 1848. The 1850 US census lists Amanda age 8, her three siblings, and mother living in the household of Saml T. Harrison in St. Michaels, Talbot, Maryland. Her mother is described as "farming." Amanda married Thomas Williams (1837-1882) probably sometime prior to 1865 when their first child was born. (No marriage record has been located at this time.) The couple had three surviving children: Thomas J. (b. 1865); Meda L. (b. 1868) and Rosamond (b. 1872). The 1870 and 1880 US censuses record the family as living in Fairfield, Northumberland County, Virginia. Amanda is "keeping house" and Thomas is listed as a farmer. By 1900, the widowed Amanda is living with her oldest child, Thomas. Amanda died in 1912 and is buried in the Roseland Cemetery in Reedville, Northumberland County, Virginia. Her husband, son Thomas and daughter-in-law, and a granddaughter and grandson-in-law are also buried in the cemetery.
Inscription(s):The grapevine wreath block contains an inked inscription, ""M. [J.?] & M. [?] / [T?] ignor/ [S?]evil[s?]."