Pine Burr

October, 2018

Pine Burr

Maker Unidentified

Probably made in Guilford County, North Carolina
86 ¼ x 66 ¼ inches (209 x 168 centimeters) 
Hand-pieced, machine-pieced, hand-quilted
Gift of the Robert and Ardis James Foundation
IQM 2014.049.0024

The pattern, sashing and color selection on this circa 1880-1890 quilt reflect trends seen in many quilts made during this era in the American South. The yellow-orange—often called “cheddar” by today’s makers and historians—paired with the contrasting dark turquoise and brown were especially prevalent in areas settled by German immigrants, including southeastern Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Using madder fabrics—chocolate brown and orange-red prints—was also common from the 1860s through 1880s, which gives it a post-Civil War date.

If you look closely at the quilt, you will notice batting coming through some of the brown fabrics. The iron used in the mordant-dye process was abrasive to the cotton, causing it to shatter over time. The damage cannot be fixed, but conservation efforts can slow the decay.

The quilt is one of five displayed in “Southern Quilts from the Kathlyn Sullivan Collection” September 20, 2018-February 17, 2019