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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst
|Date Made:||ca. 1840|
|Place Made:||United States; New England|
|Measurements:||overall: 89 x 89 in.; 226.06 x 226.06 cm|
|Accession Number: ||HD 90.101|
|Credit Line:||Gift in Memory of Florence C. Bartlett||
Pieced, cotton quilt laid out in the Chips and Whetstones pattern (circle in a square) in plain and patterns cottons in reds, greens and yellows with 16 side-by-side blocks; a green sawtooth border; a binding of green/black print set on the straight grain; and cotton batting. The quilting is done using white cotton thread at 12 stitches per inch. The quilt descended in the donors' New England family, but they did not know who made it. The use of red and green enjoyed great popularity between the 1830s and 1890. The state of dye technology at this time helped make the physical survival of red and green quilts possible. "Turkey" red, initially a dye process using the roots of the madder plant, was perfected in the Ottoman empire of the eastern Mediterranean area. By the mid 18th century, English and French textile printers used this multi-step technique to produce a fast color. While it tended to fade to a strawberry pink, it did not bleed onto other fabrics in a pieced design. Greens used in pre-Civil War quilts often were produced in a two-step process (over-dyeing blue and yellow) using both mineral and vegetable sources, which tended to fade to blue or tan.
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