"More Beautiful Than Any Other": Quilts from the OSV Collection, 1790-1850
While early New England quilts demonstrated a continuity of English traditions in design and technique, eventually American women began to adapt these traditions to their own needs and tastes. American women eventually adopted a different piecing technique, stitching the pieces together with a running stitch and with out the aid of paper templates. While this mehtod was much more efficient, it often created results that were not as exact as the paper template technique.
Regional characteristics in quilting also developed. One such New England distinction was the overall shape of the quilt. Many New England quilts are T-shaped with cutouts at the bottom to fit the quilts around the bedposts. These cutouts could be square or rounded, and some quilts retain the original ties that secured them to the foot of the bed.
|Pieced Quilt, Eight-Pointed Star Pattern, circa 1840s |
Betsy Lyford Hutchins (m. 1849), Brookfield, New Hampshire. Cotton, 101" x 107". OSV 26.23.231.
This quilt was made by Betsy Lyford, daughter of Theophius Wiggin Lyford and Mary Goodhue Lyford. Betsy Lyford married John Hutchins in 1849; the Lyford farm, inlcuding the Cider Mill currently located at Old Sturbridge Village, presumably passed into the Hutchins family at that time. This quilt is a popular pieced star pattern, combining a variety of different domestically produced cotton prints.
|French Bedstead, circa 1832 |
From the Carpenter family, Attleboro, Massachusetts. OSV 5.17.108.