Floral Album

May, 2016

Floral Album

Maker unknown

Circa 1910-1920
Possibly made in Philadelphia
Ardis and Robert James Collection, 1997.007.0125

Made by an unknown maker circa 1910-1920, this floral album quilt features simple clusters of realistic flowers tied with delicate bows. The quilter used a whipstitch to attach the many pieces of fabric in this applique. The quilt also features embroidery, including the coiled thread for the centers and stars. The additional stuffing and layered fabric give the flowers more dimension.

A Flowering of Quilts (University of Nebraska Press, 2001) offers this additional information about the quilt: “The symbolic messages of the floral imagery in this quilt may indicate that it is a memorial quilt. The cross amidst a spray of flowers (second row from top, second block from left) and the black silk fabric used for the background, an unusual choice, also support this theory. The quiltmaker likely considered the language of flowers that was popular in the nineteenth century when sewing this quilt. The primroses may symbolize childhood, the poppies, time and its passage. Anemones often symbolized forsakenness or the winter of life.