National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Quilt Quilt
Rendered by Byron Dingman (artist), c. 1941
watercolor, graphite, and gouache on paper
overall: 62 x 47.2 cm (24 7/16 x 18 9/16 in.)
Index of American Design
Not on View
From the Tour: Textiles from the Index of American Design
Object 16 of 17

In this detail of a mid-nineteenth century appliqué quilt, the elaborate quilted patterns attain a decorative importance equal to that of the brightly colored appliqué work. The quilting is a complex combination of motifs featuring scrolling flowers, feathers, and the American eagle. The quilting has been given great prominence in the overall design of the piece not only through density of pattern, but also through the addition of extra padding to produce a sculptural appearance. The sculptural effect was achieved by a special method of stuffing. The designs were first outlined with quilting stitches; then, by means of a long needle, cotton wadding was pushed through the coarse backing of the quilt. As a result the quilted design stands out in high relief against the background. In the early nineteenth century, women made elegant all-white quilts or coverlets decorated entirely with such "stuffed-work" designs. In this example, the raised stuffed-work design enhances the colorful appliqué decoration and adds greatly to the ornamental quality of the quilt.

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