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Sunburst Quilt

The quilt contains almost four thousand diamond-shaped pieces, each about four inches long, that were first basted to a paper template to ensure uniformity of size before being meticulously whip-stitched together. At least thirty-four different small-patterned, roller-printed cottons are used to form the octagonal rings that radiate from a central eight-pointed star to create a striking dark and light design.

Made by Rebecca Scattergood Savery, American, 1770 - 1855

Geography:
Made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America

Date:
1839

Medium:
Roller-printed cotton plain weave pieced work; diamond quilting

Dimensions:
9 feet 7 inches × 9 feet 11 inches (292.1 × 302.3 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1975-5-1

Credit Line:
Gift of Sarah Pennell Barton and Nancy Barton Barclay, 1975

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Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections

    In 1839, at the age of sixty-nine, the Philadelphia Quaker Rebecca Scattergood Savery made this sunburst-patterned quilt for her granddaughter Sarah Savery, who was born that year; their descendants donated the quilt to the Museum. Measuring nine feet by nearly ten feet, the quilt contains almost four thousand diamond-shaped pieces, each about four inches long, that were first basted to a paper template to ensure uniformity of size before being meticulously whip-stitched together. At least thirty-four different small-patterned, roller-printed cottons were used to form the octagonal rings that radiate from a central eight-pointed star to create a striking dark and light design. The quilting, which was stitched in a diamond pattern over very thin batting, was done by more than one hand, probably at a quilting bee where the work was combined with socializing. This quilt is the most important patchwork piece in the Museum's large quilt collection, which is especially rich in examples from the Philadelphia area. H. Kristina Haugland, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 91.
  • PublicationThe Fine Art of Textiles

    Rebecca Scattergood Savery, a Philadelphia Quaker, was the wife of Thomas Savery, son of the Philadelphia cabinetmaker William Savery. She made this sunburst-patterned quilt, using 3,903 patches, in 1839 for her first granddaughter Sarah Savery, who was born that year. Six quilts from 1827 to 1844, including three with huge sunbursts are associated directly or indirectly with Rebecca Savery. Dilys E. Blum, from The Fine Art of Textiles: The Collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (1997), p. 95.

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