Red and Green Appliqué
79" x 79"
MSU Museum Accession 2001:158.9
Photo by Fumio Ichikawa, all rights reserved by MSU Museum
Shortly after purchasing this quilt, Kitty Clark Cole loaned it to the
Michigan State University Museum for an exhibition organized in conjunction
with the 1999 American Quilt Study Group Seminar in East Lansing, Michigan.
As she had not yet had the opportunity to examine the quilt closely herself,
Kitty was pleased to learn that quilt scholars Xenia Cord and Bettina
Havig discovered the "Neff" signature and the date "1874"
on the quilt.
Kitty called this her "Christmas Quilt' because its red and green
appliqué motifs made it especially suitable to display during the
December holiday season. Quilts of appliquéd designs in green and
red fabrics set against a white background were popular from around 1830
until the end of the nineteenth century. A third color, such as the Cheddar
used here, was sometimes added as an accent. This style of quilt often
includes an appliquéd border with design motifs such as swags,
vines, or floral designs. In this quilt, the edges of the appliquéd
pieces are held in place with very fine buttonhole stitches.
By Mary Worrall, excerpted from American
Quilts from Michigan State University Museum.