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QUILT TOP
[Textileworking Tools and Equipment]


missing
View at Kansas Memory

Accession Number: 1988.189.1

Physical Description: Red, green and yellow rose and love apple variation appliqué quilt top with wide border of appliquéd red, yellow and green love apple vines. Ground of white and off-white cotton. Four large central blocks with a rose and vines terminating in love apples. Design of blocks set on point. Seven buds and one rose on each block. No backing.

History of Object: Notes in the accession file indicate the donors acquired this quilt top from the estate of Ola Scruggs Wilson (1892-1983). It is assumed to have been made in Nicodemus, Kansas, by Ola?s mother, Mary Jane Lewis Scruggs. Mary Jane was born in Missouri in 1866, the daughter of former slaves from Kentucky. A previous cataloger dated this quilt from 1880-1920. However, a narrower date is now given based on the reasons that follow. According to quilt historian Barbara Brackman, red, green and white appliqu quilts were popular from 1830 to about 1900 (Brackman, Barbara. Clues in the Calico: A Guide to Identifying and Dating Antique Quilts. EPM Publications, Inc., p.156). However, as part of the 1995 KSHS exhibit, Material Pleasures, Ms. Brackman examined this quilt and determined that the green fabric was synthetically dyed (see accession file for her notes). Synthetic green dye became available about 1875 and is common in quilts from 1875-1900 (Brackman, Barbara. Clues in the Calico: A Guide to Identifying and Dating Antique Quilts. EPM Publications, Inc., p.61). These synthetic greens tended to fade and as a result, green is not a common color in quilts from 1890 to 1925 (Brackman, Barbara. Clues in the Calico: A Guide to Identifying and Dating Antique Quilts. EPM Publications, Inc., p.61). The early date assigned to this quilt is strengthened by the provenance. Nicodemus was first settled in September of 1877 (U.S. Dept. of the Interior, National Park Service, Rocky Mountain Region. Promised Land on the Solomon: Black Settlement at Nicodemus, Kansas, p. iii). M.J. Scruggs, born in Missouri and living in Nicodemus township, is first found in the 1895 Kansas Census. She is married to G.R. Scruggs and they have a 4-year-old daughter and a 2-year-old daughter named Ola. Both children were born in Kansas.

Date: Between 1875 and 1900

Dimensions (in cm): 202.00 (H) 199.50 (W) L: 79 1/2? W: 78?

Index Terms

Associations and Subjects

    Use, Place of: Graham County (Kan.)
    Origin, Place of: Nicodemus (Kan.)
    Group: African American
    Group: Exodusters
    Individual: Scruggs, Mary Jane Lewis, 1866-

Creators and Contributors

    Scruggs, Mary Jane Lewis

Status: Cataloged

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