Pieced Quilt – “Star Pattern”

By Maud M. Holme

Index of American Design

National Gallery of Art

Not many of the quilts painted in the Index of American Design resemble the sorts of scrap quilts typically made rural women in the South, as the project favored high style sophisticated quilts, often from the Northeast. Maud Holme of the Florida IAD rendered this quilt in Miami. Its owner was Mrs. Charles X. Wilson, who attributed the quilt to Harriett Jones, stating she made it in part with “cotton grown and spun on the Jones farm” in Bowden, Georgia. Mrs. Wilson’s estimated date is 1808, which seems an unrealistically early date for this quilt and its supposed homespun cotton. The quilt shares much more with the popular patterns published in 1930s newspapers. The painting evokes the worn, soft, patches of a well-loved and well-used scrap quilt, an antidote to the ornate chintzes and elaborate applique on many of the IAD quilts.