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American Flag has Thirty Stars – Guest Blogger: Marilyn Olsen

March 5, 2013

Recently I was pleased to be able to share a treasured heirloom with the students in Gail’s Experimental Machine Embroidery (level one) workshop. This wonderful quilt was given to me many years ago by my husband’s great aunt, Maude Foster, who was orphaned at a young age, but grew up to be for more than 50 years the beloved teacher of generations of first graders in Crawfordsville, Indiana. As a single lady, she was required by the school board to live with families in the community. At some point, she was given this wonderful quilt.
Although I still have a great deal of research to do about this quilt, what I do know is, according to Aunt Maude anyway, it had been crafted by an itinerant milliner, who traveled from town to town in rural Indiana and the quilt served as the sample she used to illustrate her skill as a seamstress and embroiderer. It is made primarily from velvets and silk and an embroidered American flag with 30 stars would seem to date the piece to 1848.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Nancy Piepenbring permalink
    March 5, 2013 3:33 pm

    What an amazing quilt, and a wonderful provenance! The decomposing silk is a good reminder for those of us who want to create long-lasting embroideries. Thanks for sharing!

  2. March 5, 2013 4:21 pm

    The stitchwork is lovely, with more detail and types of stitches than I’ve seen on many crazy quilts. I have some information on restoring old silk quilts which I received when I had a family heirloom “silk cigar-band quilt” appraised. I’ll look for it and bring up to Gails when I find it, if you’re interested.

    • March 5, 2013 4:53 pm

      We’d love to see not only the information given to you but also the silk cigar band quilt. I look forward to seeing it. The La Conner Quilt Museum here in Washington State has a lovely example at their museum at this very moment. Gail

  3. March 5, 2013 4:36 pm

    Wow! What a wonderful heirloom for you to treasure.

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