Quilt of the Month


December 2009

December 2009

Pots of Flowers
Probably made by Mary Eliza Sykes
Probably made in Iowa
Dated 1904
81.5"x 83.5"
IQSC 2004.016.0002
The Linda and Dr. John Carlson Four Block Quilt Collection
Four-Part Harmony: The Linda Carlson Four-Block Quilt Collection Exhibition

Mary Eliza Sykes embroidered her name onto the back of her Pots of Flowers quilt, as well as the date, 1904 (see detail images). Her large pots contain curving, scalloped leaves, flower buds, and large coxcomb blooms with reverse applique details. While the quilting was done by hand, the applique was largely completed with a sewing machine. Many synthetic green dyes from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were unreliable, often fading to tan or khaki. Consequently, some turn-of-the-century Colonial Revival red and green applique quilts, like this one, have become red and khaki. In fact, 16 of 93 IQSC quilts categorized as Colonial Revival - or 17 percent - exhibit this phenomenon.