Friday, February 17, 2017

Margaret Dodge Quilts

This Mariner's Compass quilt in the collection of Colonial Williamsburg recently caught my eye,
not only because it is spectacular (do note fussy cut paisleys)....

but because it is attributed to Margaret Dodge Sutton of Brooklyn, New York. Now there was something going on quilt-wise in Brooklyn, New York, in the mid-19th century so anytime I see Brooklyn my eyes light up. And any time I see the name Margaret Dodge ....

Album Quilt made by Margaret English Wood Dodge in Brooklyn.
Collection of the DAR Museum
See the file on this quilt at the Quilt Index here:

I have recently been working on patterns for a quilt inspired by one made by a Margaret Dodge of Brooklyn. You may have made my Dixie Diary block-of-the-month quilt in 2013, which owes a lot to this Margaret's blocks.

Detail from Margaret Dodge's quilt

Particularly in the star and heart appliques.

Dixie Diary by MooseBayMuses

Another fussy-cut paisley in the Colonial Williamsburg quilt.

Margaret's album is charming and Margaret made a lot of quilts, but I cannot believe she also made the masterpiece quilt at the top of the post. It's just not her style. There must have been two Margaret Dodges in Brooklyn and indeed there were.

Margaret English Wood Dodge (1783-1873) was the grandmother of Margaret Dodge Marschalk Sutton (1826-1907). They probably have known each other well as the elder Margaret lived until the younger one was in her sixties.

The link between the two Margarets is Clarissa Mary Dodge Marschalk (1803-1838) daughter of one and mother to the other. Clarissa died when her daughter Margaret was about 12 years old. The younger Margaret's father Girard Steddiford Marschalk (1801-1827) had died when she was a baby. Who raised her?

Fussy-cut paisley from Grandmother's Quilt

Fussy-cut paisley from the Mariner's Compass quilt.

But perhaps granddaughter Margaret didn't make this Mariner's Compass.
There's a curious detail at the end of the cataloging information online.  
"The quilt descended from the maker Margaret Dodge Marschalk Sutton (1826-1907) to her daughter Louise Marschalk Sutton (b. 1871). The quilt descended through Louise to a great-grandson of Margaret's, Robert W. Pitt, who donated it to the museum.
Mark(s):A printed calling card for Mrs. Louise Marschalk Chapman was pinned to the quilt when the object was acquired; the reverse of the card bears the ink script inscription 'Designed and made/one hundred years/ago by Clarissa Dodge/Marschalk and left/to/Louise Marschalk Chapman.' "
Why did the family believe that Margaret Sutton made the quilt when the card from Margaret Sutton's daughter indicated that Clarissa Marschalk stitched it? 

Clarissa died in 1838. Could this quilt have been made by her before 1838?  There were certainly Mariner's Compass quilts being made in the 1830s. 

Quilt date-inscribed 1831 from the North Carolina project and the Quilt Index.
Attributed to Jean-Marie Frontis.

The Turkey red and Prussian blue blocks in the Dodge quilt are more typical of the 1840s but the chintz sashing and borders were classic 1830s style.

See more quilts from the remarkable Grandmother Margaret Wood Dodge at this post:

The women:
Margaret English Wood Dodge (1783-1873)
        Clarissa Mary Dodge Marschalk (1803-1838)
               Margaret Dodge Marschalk Sutton (1826-1907 or 1909)
                      Louise Marschalk Sutton Chapman (1871-?) (Could someone be lying about her age?)

See some genealogy here:

And More on the DIXIE DIARY BOM here:

Carol at Carol's Artless Fabrications framed each Dixie Diary block with 
a Flying Geese design. Pretty spectacular.

I'm now offering the paper patterns by mail or downloadable PDFs for the Dixie Diary BOM in my Etsy Store. (Note: No pattern for Carol's flying geese frames.)
Buy the complete pattern package in PDF form, which you can print yourself in color or black and white. $15

I will print these out in black & white and mail them to you for $22.50
See this listing to buy the paper patterns.


  1. Dear Barbara,
    What a terrific surprise to be casually reading your blog this morning and find a photo of my quilt. I feel quite honoured and a bit like a mini celebrity :o) Thank you so much for showing my Dixie Diary Quilt on your blog. Always a big fan, carol at artlessfabrications dot com

  2. It's a great quilt Carol. The sashing completely changes the simple blocks.

  3. Very interesting post. I agree that there must have been more than one Margaret Dodge in Brooklin. Dodge's are thick on the ground around here. My paternal grandmother, Achsa May Dodge Caton had a cousin named Margaret Dodge. I think she lived in Palmyra, Maine.