Chintz Summer Bedspread

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Description

Lightweight for summer use, this bedspread is decorated with pieced hexagons (1 in wide) arranged in flower and star patterns on a white cotton background.

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Lightweight for summer use, this bedspread is decorated with pieced hexagons (1 in wide) arranged in flower and star patterns on a white cotton background. The top is divided into four squares and eight triangles (two in each corner) by chintz sashing (4 in wide). A different chintz border (7 in wide) has been applied around the whole coverlet, which is backed with white cotton and bound with woven tape.

This coverlet has no middle layer and is not quilted. It has none the less been backed with white cotton. Woven tape binds the front and reverse sections together. This type of quilt is known as a summer bedspread. Usually such coverlets did not have a backing: their edges were simply finished with binding. The lightness of such a bedspread would have been preferable, in the muggy climate of South Carolina, to a thick one with batting.

The top has been pieced from tiny hexagons, only an inch across. Each hexagon has been precisely placed and stitched to ensure that the fabric pattern is shown to best advantage: flower buds, acorns and abstract designs are positioned in the centre of each hexagon. The same attention to detail is evident in the sashing, which has been cut to fit the repeated floral pattern in a vine formation along the length. The border has also been meticulously arranged to ensure the floral pattern fits the width.

The consideration that has been applied to the selection and piecing of the fabrics is the hallmark of a skilled needlewoman. A paper label attached to the quilt states that it was made by a slave seamstress living on the Drayton Hall estate – a rice plantation, with many slaves working in the fields.

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Object Name

» hexagon quilts

Dated

From 1825 (circa) to 1835 (circa)

Keywords

African American, slavery, ,

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Materials

» cotton (textile)
» chintz

Technique

» patchwork
» piecing
» hand sewing
» appliqué (technique)

Production place

» Charleston, South Carolina

Collection

» Textile Collection

Dimensions

330xcm

Object number

2005.22

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