Quilt of the Month


October 2010

October 2010

Ziegenfuss Quilt, Rolling Stone variation
Made for/by Aveline S.A. Ziegenfuss Stern
Made in Upper Saucon Township, Pennsylvania
Dated 1862
87" x 73.25"
IQSC 2010.035.0004

This fraktur-inscribed quilt (fraktur is a Germanic form of calligraphy) from the Lucinda Cawley collection at the IQSC includes a block that identifies the owner and likely maker of the quilt as Aveline S. A . Stern. The block featuring her name also includes the German phrase "Ihr Teppic" or "her quilt" and the name of the professional calligrapher, William Gross, inscribed at the base of a vase with drooping tulips, who penned this block and the twenty additional names found on the quilt. This quilt inspired Cawley to begin a systematic study of fraktur quilts in which she identified the individuals whose names are found on the quilts and the relationship between them.

Cawley discovered that Aveline Stern was born on September 15, 1842 in Upper Saucon Township, Pennsylvania, one of seven children born to John Henry and Sarah Ziegenfuss. Aveline's parents, siblings, one nephew and nearby neighbors are included on the quilt blocks. In 1860, Aveline was found in census records as a hotel servant. One year later she married Joseph Stern, who later served in the Union army. In 1867, at the young age of 24, Aveline died, most probably due to complications while giving birth to a son named Jonas.