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Feathered Star Quilt

1850-1870
Origin: America, Southeast, Virginia (possibly)
W: 76 1/2" L: 90" (194 x 229 cm)
Plain and printed cottons
Gift of Mrs. Mutter Hagemann.
Acc. No. 1971-3303
This is a rectangular pieced quilt with a repeating feathered star pattern and a border. It consists of 20 whole stars and 10 half stars, which appear at the top and left side of the quilt. Each star is pieced with a square center and eight matching triangles of blue-green cotton. To give the feathered appearance at the edges, smaller triangles of red with yellow sprigs alternate with white triangles on the outside of the blue stars. Lozenges of white cotton are formed where the red triangles from adjoining stars meet. These lozenges alternate with squares of white cotton in every other row. The border is made of the same red ground material. The quilted patterns in 9-10 running stitches per inch in white cotton thread include feather wreaths in the white blocks, squares, diagonal parallel lines, and diamonds. The quilt is backed in white plain-woven cotton, which has been brought to the front to create a finished edge.
Label:The maker of this lively quilt combined red and blue-green printed textiles with solid white cotton in a pattern of repeated stars in which the points touch those of the adjacent stars, joined by a single pieced diamond at the tips. Each star is pieced with a square center and eight matching triangles of blue-green, further embellished with smaller red pieced triangles at the edges that give a "feathered" appearance. In order to make her quilt the correct size, the quilt maker cut up five of the star units and stitched the ten pieces to one side and one end, creating an asymmetrical design. The quilting in the white areas includes feathered wreaths.
T
he quilt descended in the donor's family and is thought to have been made by Anna Hopton, who was born in South Carolina and married Thomas Joseph Macon of Virginia probably around 1870.
Provenance:The quilt descended in the donor’s family and is thought to have been made by Anna Hopton, who was born in South Carolina and married Thomas Joseph Macon (1839–1917) of Virginia probably around 1870 .Anna Hopton Macon and her husband, Thomas, are buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, VA.