Quilt of many pieces, about 1935
"Mrs. M.L. Simpson, of Phillipsburg [Kansas], has recently completed a quilt with 3,711 pieces. It is claimed so far as known this beats all other records. She was about four months making it and every part of it was by hand. She is now piecing the second one."
None of the quilts pictured in this post have anything to do with the quilts mentioned in the news articles. See below for explanation.
The rare diagonal strip set, about 1900
Be wary of stories concerning the biggest, the oldest or the most. They are usually wrong--- As is the above article from 1921 about Mrs. Simpson's quilt of 3,711 pieces, which "beat all other records."
Detail of a Trip Around the World quilt
If the reporter had done any research at all [s]he might have noticed an earlier story in the Jefferson Texas Jimplecute in 1905:
"Mrs. T. A. Harris, of Cooke county, recently completed a quilt which has 13,050 pieces in it. It required seventy-five days to do the work and fifteen spools of thread were used."
Quilt about 1880-1910, probably from Pennsylvania
Mrs. Harris did not claim to hold a record for pieces. She was perhaps just looking for a little recognition for her persistence. (Or maybe an excuse as to why she couldn't have folks over to dinner lately.)
Triangles, about 1870-1910
The Essex County, Vermont Herald noted in 1892 that:
"Betsey Fuller, aged 83 years, has recently completed a quilt containing 13,320 different pieces."Here we have a persistent and industrious woman pulling the "old lady card" to get her name in the paper.
Diamond four patch, about 1890
You might realize that my snippiness about lazy reporters comes from a 2015 persepective when I can go to the Library of Congress's newspaper website and search for the words "recently completed a quilt." In a half hour I came up with 16 references to quilting feats.
Perhaps mid-19th century?
The only reason I bring up the whole thing is to entertain you readers, and show a lot of pictures of quilts with a lot of pieces.
Triangle top, about 1870-1910.
This took longer than 4 months. The fabrics
range over decades.
Talk about your lazy reporter.
Dealers Woodard & Greenstein sold this quilt
several decades ago
Quilt about 1900, sold at Northeast Auctions