Original, Medallion

May, 2011

Original, Medallion

Frances Hawkins
Original, Medallion

Dated 1818
Made in the United Kingdom
Purchase made possible through James Foundation Acquisition Fund, 2006.035.0001

Frances Hawkins proudly composed her name in hexagons along the top of her bedcover in 1818. She embraced two popular techniques of the time-–mosaic patchwork and chintz appliqué, but made no attempt to fussy cut (selective cutting of fabric design) or sort her hexagons by color or value. The large shapes built from assorted hexagons are an original touch, as are the spiked hexagons projecting from the orbs placed at top and bottom, the hexagon basket, and stylized flowers.

Hawkins carefully spaced out the pieces of printed cotton across the plain white backing fabric. Was she trying to eke out her stock of printed fabric? Hawkins’s appliquéd dog-tooth border shows she managed to afford a moderate amount of a single fabric and put it to dramatic use.