Flag Quilt top
62” x 74”
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.