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Accession Number: 1958.110.1

Physical Description: Crazy quilt with ornate embroidery and painted designs overall. Square quilt is made up of 49 blocks, each composed of numerous irregular pieces of fabric stitched to a cotton foundation. Many of the fabrics are silk and velvet. Although there are numerous light-colored fabrics, the overall effect is dark. Elaborate decoration includes heavy embroidery, painted floral designs, and three-dimensional felt posies. All fabric pieces are outlined in feather stitch embroidery. Initials are embroidered on three blocks. Narrow brown velvet borders which wrap onto back to form binding. Red cotton twill backing formed of strips, decorated at seams with white feather stitching. Maker’s name is written in ink at one corner on backing. Hand-stitched, -embroidered, and -painted.

History of Object: According to letter in accession file, this quilt allegedly was made in 1845 in Ireland. The maker possibly was the donor?s grandmother, Mary Martin. The donor stated that Mary F. O?Farrell was born Dec. 22, 1855 in Ireland and came to the United States via New Orleans in 1865. Census records for 1900 (see Info File) state that she was born in December 1856 and came to the U.S. in 1869. She married Henry C. Martin, M.D., in 1870. They moved to Harper, Kansas, after their marriage. This quilt almost certainly was made in the U.S., because the Crazy Quilt style didn?t develop until about 1880. Although the fad lasted into the 1900s, heavily embroidered and embellished silk quilts such as this were more likely to date from the 19th century.

Date: Between 1880 and 1899

Dimensions (in cm): 203.00 (H) 198.00 (W) L: 80" W: 78"

Marks/Inscriptions: [handwritten in black ink on back] Mary F. Martin // [initials embroidered on patches scattered around top] E B / D F / D //

Index Terms

Associations and Subjects

    Use, Place of: Harper County (Kan.)
    Use, Place of: Harper (Kan.)
    Individual: Martin, Mary O'Farrell, b.1856

Creators and Contributors

    Martin, Mary O'Farrell

Status: Cataloged

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