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Quilts 19th through 20th Centuries pdf


On December 31, 1839, in McDowell County, North
Carolina, Hannah and Pharoah, age twelve, were given as
wedding presents by John and Rebecca Logan to their daughter
Margaret Ruth and her husband, Thomas Young Greenlee.
Taking their new owners’ surname, the girl, a house servant,
and the boy, a blacksmith, later married and had a daughter
named Emm. We know little about them beyond this, except
that the masterful quilt reproduced here was begun by Hannah
Greenlee, perhaps in the 1880s, and finished by her daughter
in 1896, sometime after Hannah’s death. As a freedwoman
after the war, Hannah probably continued the type of work she
performed as a house servant: cooking, cleaning, and sewing.
She may have intended to sell or give the quilt to her previous
owners, since it remained with that family until they donated it
to North Carolina’s Historic Carson House.
This quilt looks very different from quilts made in the colonial
period, when such items were confined to homes of the
wealthy, where women had leisure time to devote to complicated
needlework. In colonial whole-cloth quilts, for example,
the top was one single piece whose only decoration was the
pattern of the stitching itself. In another type, printed images of
flowers and other motifs were cut out of expensive imported
fabrics and sewn (appliqu├ęd) to the top as decoration.
Hannah Greenlee’s quilt is made of irregular scraps of fabric —
some of them homespun — that are stitched together in the
Crazy pattern developed in Victorian England and popular in
America in the second half of the nineteenth century. Many
early Crazy quilts were made of luxury materials like silk, velvet,


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