Saturday, February 24, 2024

An Unusual Chintz


We're looking forward to the spring opening (March 9th) of a quilt exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of History featuring quilts from the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA.) 

Jenny Garwood and co-worker with the catalog.

A familiar floral....

I have a piece of that fabric with the gnarly branch.

Years ago Terry Thompson and I did a reproduction for Moda
in a collection called Lewis & Clark. We called this piece "Botany."

I was pleased to see it on the MESDA catalog cover as it is not a common print.

Quilt attributed to Lucy Hatch Whitfield (1805-1873)
Mississippi Department of Archives & History
See a post on this unusual quilt (with an unusual print in the areas between the 8-lobed florals) here:
It was once in the collection of Susan Price Miller's family linked to her great-great-great
grandmother who lived in Mississippi. Five cousins, descendants of Lucy Hatch Whitfield, generously donated it.

The floral in the center of the larger florals is quite common but those small
bouquets in the areas between the blocks ....

What surprises me about it is that it's an exception to the rule that when you look carefully at chintz quilts made before 1850 or so in America you see the same prints. It would seem that certain prints were imported here from England in great quantities and sold up and down the Atlantic coast.

But not this one. A related piece is in the Winterthur Museum's collection and it is not quite the same.  A serpentine stripe has been added between the branches---A rather strange addition.


  1. For others looking for this exhibit, MESDA is the Museum of Early SOUTHERN Decorative Arts. It’s in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

  2. For those looking to attend, the exhibit is actually at the NC Museum of Art in Raleigh, quilts are from MESDA, but exhibited at the NC Art Museum.

    1. I have been unable to figure this out---thanks Shawn. It's at the state museum not the MESDA.