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Fragmentary Coverlet

(Private Collection)

Size: 213 cm x 243 cm (84 in. x 95¾in.)

Construction: mosaic patchwork

Date: late eighteenth century

One of the exhibits in The Blossoming of Patchwork 1780–1820s at the Quilt Museum and Gallery, St Anthony’s Hall, Peasholme Green, York 17 May – 31 August 2013

This late eighteenth-century patchwork coverlet survived intact until the then owner cut it apart and removed worn borders at the centre of the design in the late twentieth century. The outer border is also missing. It has a very similar design to a complete coverlet that was recorded during the Quilters’ Guild British Quilt Heritage Project, but this design is more complex with finer drawn floral images (see Quilt Treasures, figs. 28, 29, p. 42).

The coverlet has a vase of flowers in the octagonal centre surrounded by an undulating vine border with tulips at the corners. Further flowers appear on the outer border of hexagons in bouquets, vases, baskets and cornucopia. The entire design was constructed using the mosaic patchwork technique with some added embroidery embellishment providing stems and extra detail on the flowers: a testing project for a very skilled needlewoman. None of the paper templates remain in the piece unlike the complete coverlet, which still contains all its templates. 

See Bridget Long, ‘Sibling, Cousin or Friend? Considering the Relationship between Two Late Eighteenth-century Mosaic Patchwork Coverlets’, Quilt Studies,10 (2009), 89–112

© Bridget Long, 2013