Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Quilt, Nine Patch pattern variation

Rebecca Davis
ca. 1846
Made in United States
84 3/4 x 82 3/4 in. (215.3 x 210.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Andrew Galbraith Carey, 1980
Accession Number:
Not on view
This pieced quilt is patterned with Nine Patch blocks within a diamond-shaped grid. The sashing is of red calico, and theblocks are pieced from various multicolored and patterned fabrics. The back is of plain white woven cotton, and the quilt is filled with cotton batting. Except for feather quilting in the inner white border, the piece is diamond quilted overall. There are partial English design registration marks on some pieces of fabric.
This Nine Patch quilt, along with two others in the Museum’s collection (1980.498.1 and 1980.498.3) were made by Rebecca Davis, grandmother of the donor, Mrs. Andrew Galbraith Carey. Although this example is not signed, it can be assumed that all of Davis’ quilts in the collection were made sometime around 1846, since her Honeycomb quilt (1980.498.1) is dated to that year and all three share some of the same fabrics. Most of the fabrics sewn into these quilts appear to be English printed cottons, an attribution confirmed by the sections of English design-registration marks visible on a number of the pieces.
Rebecca Davis had an excellent sense of color and design, especially noticeable in this quilt. And although it was probably the easiest to piece of the three and is certainly the most simply quilted, its pattern of internal symmetry is particularly attractive. The pattern has a focal point in the centermost square of the center block, which is flanked in all directions by pairs of matching blocks. Only the two outermost rows of blocks do not match, perhaps because Davis ran out of fabric.
[Peck 2015; adapted from Amelia Peck, "American Quilts & Coverlets in the Metropolitan Museum of Art," 2007]
Marking: marked on some pieces of fabric: [English registry marks]
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