Rose of Sharon Quilt
Twelve appliquéd green and red Rose of Sharon blocks on white background.Full description »
Twelve appliquéd green and red Rose of Sharon blocks on white background. Wide appliquéd border of green leaves and flowers in vases. The flowers have been stuffed to enhance the quilt’s three-dimensional quality. The quilting design incorporates flowers and leaves with hearts.
Rose of Sharon quilts were popular during the nineteenth century and were traditionally made for newlyweds. The pattern is thought to represent romantic love and the sacrament of marriage. There are many variations of the Rose of Sharon pattern. This design is the most common, with stems and buds radiating from a central rose.
The border has mitred inner corners, which is unusual for quilts of this date. (Usually borders had two longer sides and two shorter sides; mitred corners use more fabric.) The flowers have not been padded by the 'trapunto' method of inserting pockets of padding through discreet slits in the backing. Instead, additional cotton was placed underneath the red fabric roses before they were appliquéd onto the quilt top. Some of the green fabric has discoloured to a dull brown – most strikingly along the top border – which suggests that two types of green fabric were used.
This Bride’s quilt was made by Lavinia Krishner in celebration of her marriage to John Fox in 1850. While a baby, John Fox had been taken by Native Americans and given the name ‘Little Fox ’. As he never learned his true identity, he adopted the name John Fox. Many years later, Lavinia’s and John’s initials were embroidered in cross-stitch in the border of the quilt by their daughter, along with the date of their marriage.