Michigan Quilt Project
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The Kitty Clark Cole Collection


Four Block Vase of Flowers
Unknown
Provenance unknown
c1850
78" x 78"
Cotton
MSU Museum Accession 2007:107.5
Photo by Pearl Yee Wong, all rights reserved by MSU Museum

Although little is known about the history of this quilt or the person who made it, Four Block Vase of Flowers contains visual clues that help to tell us when it was made. The quilt was created using appliqué, a technique in which pieces of fabric are cut out and stitched to a base fabric. Appliqué quilts with floral designs set in the four-block format found here were very popular during the mid-nineteenth century. Also popular during this time period was a red and green color palette. Often the dyes used to create these colors turned out to be unstable and it is not uncommon to find appliqué quilts from the mid-nineteenth century that contain fabrics that have faded from their original hues to shades of brown.

--by Mary Worrall






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