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Appliqued and Pieced Framed Center Medallion Quilt

1790-1800
Origin: America, Southeast, Virginia
OL: 82"; OW: 75" (208 cm x 190 cm)
Plain and printed cottons, linen embroidery thread, cotton quilting thread, cotton backing, cotton batting
Gift of Jan Bennett-Collier
Acc. No. 2006-158,1
This rectangular quilt is appliqued and pieced in plain and printed cottons with linen embroidery embellishments. It is in a framed center medallion format consisting of a square center medallion of four tulip flowers in the corners and five eight-pointed stars (pieced from triangles). The tulips were created from printed tulip-patterned brown cotton. A border of eight spaced stars with eight-points surrounds the center with concentric borders of geometric patchwork pieces including triangles and sawtooth bands. In each of the corners is a pieced eight-pointed star with an appliqued rose flower in the center. The quilt is backed in plain cotton and bound in a narrow printed cotton strip. The outer border is quilted in chevron patterns in cotton threads. Other quilting patterns include double diagonal parallel lines, undulating vine and flowers, alternating concentric swags, and outline of applique. The quilting is done in nine running stitches per inch. The applique is attached with buttonhole stitches.
Label:The maker of this early Virginia framed center-medallion quilt illustrated her sense of humor and ingenuity by using printed tulip-patterned brown cotton in the appliquéd tulip motifs in the corners of the central square. The pieced eight-pointed star motifs are also found on quilts from the northern Piedmont and Shenandoah Valley of Virginia by the 1840s.The quilt along with a deteriorated paper tag and silk show ribbon descended in the Collier family of Virginia. Family tradition states that the quilt “took a premium in the Fair at Waco Texas in the year 1874 as the oldest quilt in the states and for the many designs in which it is quilted."
Provenance:Made by Martha Frances Dabney Collier (c. 1790);
By descent to her son, E. Dabney Collier (b. 1770);
By descent to his daughter, Pamelia Collier (b. 1798);
By descent to her daughter, Lucy Anne Jackson;
By descent to her niece, Loula Jackson Sleet (b. 1876);
By descent to Dabney Collier Jackson II;
By descent to his daughter, Jan Bennett-Collier;
Given to CWF, 2004/2006.

Martha Frances Dabney Collier married Captain Thomas Collier whose father was from Portabello Plantation. They moved to Surry County in the late eighteenth century and later to Mecklenburg County and Charlotte County, Virginia.

The quilt "won a premium in a fair in Waco, TX in 1874" as the oldest quilt in the state. It also won an award in a show in Norfolk.
Inscription(s):Unattached paper tag: "R. & T.R. 1905 Agricultural Society"