Michigan Quilt Project
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The Kitty Clark Cole Collection

Red and Green Appliqué
? Neff
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.


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