This past Saturday was St. Patrick’s Day (and, more importantly to us here at MCHS, the 13th annual Montgomery County History Day competition) but there was another holiday that day: National Quilting Day, held the third Saturday in March. In belated honor, here’s one of the many quilts in our collections for your enjoyment.
This cotton quilt is pieced in a Pinwheel (or Windmill) pattern, with a double border, and measures 64″ x 77″. Most of the quilting is done in straight lines, with some herringbone patterns on the outer border. We purchased it several years ago from a local dealer, who brought it to our attention because of its provenance; although the maker is unknown, it is thought to have belonged to Titus and Rosie Day of Clarksburg.
Why? Well, their names are quilted on the sides. (I really cannot overstate my enthusiasm for putting your name on things.) One side says Rosie B. Day (above), and the other Titus W. Day (below). Titus Washington Day (1861-1946) and Rosa Belle King (1867-1941), both of Clarksburg, were issued a Montgomery County marriage licence on March 2, 1886. Ms. Rubin, the dealer, acquired it from someone who inherited it from a grandmother, who had received the quilt from Rosie herself.
The fabric colors and patterns are appropriate for an 1880s date, which is why we’ve chosen to think it was made to commemorate Titus and Rosie’s 1886 wedding. Perhaps Rosie made it herself (or maybe it was Titus – we’re equal-opportunity quilters here), or perhaps it was made by a friend or relative. It’s not the fanciest quilt in our collections, or the one made with the most technical skill (though, as a non-sewer, I am most assuredly not knocking the skill and work that went into this), but it has such a lovely direct connection to the owners that it’s one of my favorites. We don’t have any photos of Titus and Rosie, but by stitching their names into fabric, the creator left us an evocative glimpse at their lives.