Saturday, December 19, 2015

Memorial Quilt, Kentucky Museum at Western Kentucky University

Center block with "Gens of C.S.A."
Memorial Quilt dated 1866
Kentucky Museum
Gift of Henry Porter Brown

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned this silk hexagon quilt pictured in Mary Washington Clarke's 1976 book Kentucky Quilts and Their Makers. The caption attributed it to the Kentucky Museum, which is at Western Kentucky University. I didn't see it then in their online catalog.
Here's that post.

The quilt is in fragile condition.

Suzanne Antippas contacted Curator Sandra Staebell, who got right back to her and said they did indeed still have that quilt, the Porter quilt, although it hadn't yet been uploaded to their digital catalog.
"The quilt measures 90.5 x 72 inches and is composed of hexagonal blocks and hexagonal pieces that are arranged to form a six pointed star with a medallion-effect center. Small diamonds frame the points of the star and provide a border or outline effect to the piece. The fabrics consist of silks and velvets and the backing is a black and white checked silk. The quilt is hand quilted in a diamond grid pattern that measures approximately 12-14 stitches per inch. The rest of the top is pieced from panels of varying lengths and widths, and the batting is cotton."

The pink hexagon is in the lower star point. The names:

Jackson, M. Moore, Lou Cage, B Scott, M Winans, Fannie, S.G. Caruthers, Richard, Clara, Dr. Combs, Mallie and A. Strange.

The unusual stitch (all by the same hand?) is not a tiny cross stitch but perhaps little dots
or knots.

The similarity between the Kentucky Museum quilt and the silk hexagon
quilt at the Museum of the Confederacy (above) is striking.
Above a block with Generals of the Confederacy.

See the quilts at KenCat the Kentucky Museum Library Special Collections site:

And the Porter quilt is now up there with many photos:

Thanks to Curator Staebell for the photos and information on the star quilt---and to Suzanne for contacting her.


Jeanne said...

Lovely quilt with special fabrics! My Hexie group meets tomorrow, and this one is inspiring.

Nancy said...

Very interesting as usual Barbara. Hubby and I visited the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond and Jeff Davis' house right next door while I was still constructing my CW BOM you shared with us. It was a must stop to see when passing thru that area. It brought it all to life. Have not been to Kentucky - yet. Maybe this year by extending our trip to the Mountain Quiltfest. Thanks for all your research.