Featured Object

In each issue, the bimonthly DAR magazine, American Spirit, highlights an object from the DAR Museum collection in its "National Treasures" feature. These objects, often recent accessions or important pieces in the current exhibit, always have a story to tell about American history.

National Treasures

Birthday Threads

Made by Katherine Shely Fretzlen, this centennial quilt was a product of the 1876 trend of women making items to commemorate the nation’s 100th birthday.

The piecing is all plain silks, mostly taffeta, in red, yellow and black and, to a lesser extent, blue, green and gray. The corners surrounding the main hexagon feature elaborate floral embroidery done in ombre, or variegated, thread. The center of the main hexagon features the American eagle holding a flag in its beak and an olive branch in its talons. Above the large hexagon is one pair of crossed flags saying “1776,” and below the hexagon is another pair of crossed flags saying “1876.” (See detail photo.)

Although evidence is lost, the donor’s family reports to the DAR Museum that the quilt was exhibited and received a medal at the 1876 centennial exposition in Philadelphia. More than 8 million people attended the six-month exhibition celebrating 100 years of American cultural and industrial progress.

Volume 143, Number 4, July/August 2009, Page 6
Photo by Mark Gulezian/Quicksilver

More National Treasures

Sitting Pretty

To the Rescue

Strange Brew

Tayloe Family Ties

Ornamental Trio

Reviving the Stone

A Record to Remember

Strong Set

Fashion Flashback

Let's Go Ride a Bike


Isn't It Romantic

A Rockin' Good Toy

The Mystery of Mother and Child

Keep Cool

Dress for the Ages

Historical Register

Banjo Time

Getting Warmer

Virginia Map Quest

Serve It Up

Greatest Toy on Earth

Dress for the Day

Boston Uncommon

A Teapot to Revere

Seats of Honor


Play On

Top Drawer

Burning Bright

Seated in Revolution

Something to Crow About

Sister Stitch

Tea Time

Capturing Cherubs

A Link to the Past

Brushes with Fame

Something Borrowed

Supper Is Served

Stately Seats

Heirloom High Chest

Making Beautiful Music

Forged From Fire

For Madame's Trousseau

Let It Out

Heavenly Harmonies

Priceless Pooch

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