double ninepatch

Unknown Quilt Maker
(initialed in embroidery: "WEB 12")
Collected in Pennsylvania
70 x78 inches
Circa 1860 - 70

Lots of Tiny Pieces !
... more than 2000 of them...

We are intrigued with the inscription on this
19th century Double Ninepatch quilt, made circa 1870:
"W E B 12"
is embroidered into the center (alternate) block, on the Double Pink cotton.

At first, we thought it might indicate age of the maker,
but we have learned that some women "numbered " their quilts,
and often in a rather conspicuous manner.

So it remains a mystery ...
because, unfortunately, we have no additional provenance on this quilt.

We bought it many years ago in Pennsylvania, and it does have some features we find in quilts made by women of German ancestry and aesthetics.

But we suspect, judging from the back, that it may have been made
somewhere else, perhaps in the Southern United States.
Missouri or Texas? or another state south of PA with significant German populations?

The scale of the many pieces in this little gem is minute.
It is one of the reasons we believed our own story that it might have been made by a young girl.

Each little square measures about 1/2 inch square,
but as you can see, the pieceing of these tiny pieces is not precise.

Yet the quilt comes out right and is, overall, a balanced whole.
We love the running Sawtooth borders and the pleasing distribution of colors
which results in a kind of "chain."

This very charming piece has been used and washed over the years
and so is soft and mellow.

It is in good, sturdy condition, with no fabric weakness on the front.

The back, however, is imperfect (see last photo).
It was home dyed, probably with a natural walnut dye, and that has not held up well.

The back is not dirty, (though it looks that way),
but the color is uneven and the dye has rendered the cotton on the back weak.

Price: $550