Michigan Quilt Project
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The Deborah Harding Redwork Collection


Blue Stars Flag Quilt top
Maker Unknown
Provenance unknown
c1890
62” x 74”
MSUM #2001:160.3
Photo by Hossein Montazaran, all rights reserved Michigan State University Museum

The “Blue Stars Flag” quilt top is named for the embroidered flag found near the center of the quilt. The flag’s design of forty-one small stars grouped around a larger star is symbolic of Montana’s admission to the United States as the forty-first state on November 8, 1889. This was the Union’s official flag for only three days, as the state of Washington was admitted on November 11, 1889.
Due to its short duration as the nation’s official flag, it is doubtful a commercial pattern was distributed for the flag pattern. An examination of the block reveals a row of pinhole-sized dots, indicating a perforated pattern was used to transfer the design to the fabric. To create the design, a different flag design may have been adapted, or the design may have been copied from a newspaper or illustrated circular.
Although little is known about this quilt’s origin, it is possible that the flag is a clue that the quilt was made in Montana or that the quiltmaker lived there at one time.

By Mary Worrall from Redwork: A Textile Tradition in America, exhibit.


 


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