Quilt of the Month


June 2011

June 2011

Star, Signature
Made by Rebecca Scattergood Savery (1770-1855)
Probably made in Philadelphia, Penn., United States
Dated 1844
118.5" x 114"
IQSC 1997.007.0118
Ardis and Robert James Collection of Antique and Contemporary Quilts
An Elegant Geometry: American and British Mosaic Patchwork Exhibition

Rebecca Scattergood married Thomas Savery in 1791. Both were members of the Society of Friends, the Quakers. Quakers from Philadelphia and other parts of the Delaware Valley that forms the Pennsylvania and New Jersey border had strong connections to Britain through the London Yearly Meeting, which was the international center of Quaker religious life. The close cultural exchange between Friends on either side of the Atlantic may have helped sustain this British mosaic patchwork technique.

The six-pointed mosaic patchwork stars contain inked inscriptions of names; some also have delightful ink drawings. With the exception of the Saverys, the names inscribed on the quilt have been traced to Quakers who lived on the east side of the Delaware River in New Jersey. The quilt must have been completed sometime after April 6, 1844, since Rebecca's grandson William H. Savery, who is named on a block on the edge of the quilt, was born on that day. Perhaps Rebecca stitched the quilt as a tribute to Cyrus Cadwallader, whose name is on the central patch, and who, at the age of eighty-one, was the oldest person to be named.

Rebecca Savery is known to have made at least six quilts; she inscribed three of them with names and dates. The IQSCM owns two of these; this one and one other made in 1845. The third is housed at The American Folk Art Museum.