Baltimore Album Quilt

May, 2008

Baltimore Album Quilt

Maker unknown

Dated 1850
Baltimore, Maryland
Ardis and Robert James Collection, 1997.007.0319

May Day is a great time to share flowers and treats with friends and neighbors. This fabulous Baltimore album quilt and the mysterious common elements it shares with two quilts in our collection may be the result of a generous sharing spirit similar to the spirit that created the May Day tradition of delivering flowers to the door of a neighbor.

This particular quilt bears inscriptions indicating that the quilt was a gift to Mary Updegraff from her parents, brothers, and aunt and uncle. The occasion for which it was intended is unknown, as is the connection between this quilt and the others like it, one bearing an identical basket, and another bearing an identical red, reverse-appliqué border.

The mysteries surrounding Baltimore album quilts, their designers, makers, and recipients remain to be unearthed, but their beauty is in full bloom and clearly visible.