Michigan Quilt Project
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Hexagon Mosaic
Maker unknown
Provenance unknown
ca 1880
70" x 80 1/2"
Cotton with cotton filling
Photo by Fumio Ichikawa, all rights reserved by MSU Museum

Moorish and Turkish decorative art styles of the last quarter of the nineteenth century inspired new versions of quilts in hexagon designs; these quilts were often termed "mosaic patchwork" by magazines of the period. This "Hexagon Mosaic" quilt uses small triangles to space the hexagons in the unit and large triangles to connect the units together. Unlike earlier hexagon quilts that were typically pieced with the English paper piecing technique, this quilt is pieced by hand with a running stitch.

A quilt almost identical to this one was documented in the Nebraska quilt project. Called by the family "World's Wonder," the quilt was made between the time the quiltmaker migrated from Pennsylvania in 1872 and when she died in Nebraska in 1898. Because this example and the Nebraska quilts are made in so specific a style, it is possible the makers used a pattern from a published source.

By Beth Donaldson, excerpted from American Quilts from Michigan State University Museum


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