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Eye on Elegance: Early Quilts of Maryland and Virginia
October 3, 2014 – September 5, 2015

These Maryland and Virginia women used the finest fabrics...

Their family members, friends, and servants stitched with them...

They took their regional designs as they moved to new areas...

Meet the quiltmakers who had an Eye on Elegance.

This upcoming DAR Museum exhibition will introduce visitors to a little known history of early American quilts. The exhibition, organized and written by Curator of Costume and Textiles Alden O’Brien, looks at quilts and their makers from Maryland and Virginia 1790 to 1860. The quilts, made from the finest imported fabrics of the time, reflect the refined taste, style, and wealth of the women artists.

“Eye on Elegance” sheds light on new research about the quiltmakers of these elegant creations and the many hands assisting in the construction. Many of the 36 quilts displayed were stitched by women of means, their family members, neighbors, friends, and both free and enslaved servants. Quilt patterns are often regional designs which some makers took with them when they moved. One section of the exhibition examines these design migrations. Quilt styles on display will be applique, reverse applique, pieced, and album.