Rosina's half-brother Elie Augustus La Vallette was an important Admiral in the Navy, commander of the U.S.S. Constitution. Vallettes were living in Philadelphia in 1843 and Rosina may have been living with an aunt or brother Washington Vallette. Her mother died the year of the quilt.
The year after the quilt was made Rosina married, which makes one wonder if there was any connection between the quilt and her wedding. Records indicate she married Samuel B. Hood (1808-1885) on March 28, 1844 in a Philadelphia Quaker Meeting. (The Naval link makes this Quaker connection odd.)
Rosina was about 36; Samuel was 54; he'd been married before and had several children. What interests me is that Rosina's new husband was in the fabric business, something I often find when tracing quiltmakers of some skill.
In his early 30s Samuel had established a wholesale dry goods business as Hood & Company, which prospered and evolved into Hood, Bonbright & Company after Samuel retired in 1857 and turned it over to son Thomas. Their "magnificent store front looms up from the north side of Market Street, above Eighth," according to Samuel's 1878 obituary.
Samuel's grave there looks appropriate for his business success and two wives are listed, neither of them Rosina. Perhaps she was married to a different Samuel B. Hood. Or perhaps without any children of her own her stepchildren preferred to forget her.
Blocks in similar quilts date as early as 1841 but 1843 seems to be the year when "everyone" in the Delaware Valley in Philadelphia and New Jersey was making them. And when you consider the quilt has 156 nine-inch blocks, it seems everyone was making a block.Trying to understand the context of the time, I wonder how one got 156 friends up to speed on a difficult needlework technique.
This frugal and clever use of fabric does not speak of individual amateurs making little masterpieces
for a friend's project but more of a workshop diving into the cabbage basket of the smallest scraps to supply the fad. Did the workshop buy the vase fabric wholesale?