Album Quilt

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Pattern Names: Thomas Sykes Quilt
Period: 1800-1849
Date: ca. 1840
Location Made: New Jersey (NJ) USA
Project Name: Permanent Collection
Contributor: DAR Museum
ID Number: 94.23
Layout Format: Block pattern
Quilt Size: 105 inches x 107 1/2 inches
Fabrics: Cotton, Print, Solid/plain
Colors: Red, Green, Brown
Construction: Hand Piecing, Hand Applique, Embroidery, Ink drawing
Quilting Techniques: Hand quilting
Purpose or Function: Unknown
Other Notes: This mid-nineteenth century album quilt is made in a style popular in New Jersey, especially in the Quaker community. Based on a diagonal format, these quilts were made of pieced and appliqued squares, usually inscribed with elaborate inked drawings and signatures. The quilt fits this description and also exhibits other characteristics typical of this group of album quilts. For example, the sashing used to divide the squares is a stripe cotton similar to those seen on other New Jersey album quilts of the period. This quilt was said, when it arrived, to have been made for Thomas Sykes, a Quaker, by his friends and family, many of whom signed the quilt. However, Thomas was b. 1769 and seems an unlikely candidate for the receiving of a quilt. His name appears on the quilt twice, moreover. So do the names of two of his three children: Anne who m. 1849 (maiden name Sykes on quilt); George; but not Edith, who married Earl Gibbs in 1847. Other signatures include Earls: Edith's aunt and namesake Edith Sykes m. Thomas Earl and several of her sons' daughters' names--Edith Sykes's 1st cousins once removed--are on the quilt, as are those of her first cousin Tanton Earl, his wife Martha, and Martha's mother Amy Newbold. (Newbold=Edith's mother's maiden name, connection to Amy n/k). (Possibly Earl Gibbs was also related to the Earls). Thus it seems more likely that the quilt was made for Edith for her marriage in 1847. This would explain why her name isn't on it. Its descent in her family also supports this. The field is composed of 41 blocks set on point, with 27 different pattern in use, all are 12.5" x 13.5". The blocks are sperated by a 2.5" wide sashing. The cotton backing is in five panels measuring 14.75", 22", 22", 22.25", and 22" wide. The applied linen and cotton binding is a .5" wide woven tape. Where patterns of blocks match, they are often signed by same surname, e.g. Kesslers, Tanton and Martha Earl, and Stevens; also Thomas and George Sykes both have Mariner's Compass designs near center; third Mariner's Compass has John Curtis, who married Edith Sykes's sister Ann in 1849.
Inscription: 1- Amy Newbold 2- Lizzie Earl 3- ES Earl 4- Virgina E. Earl 5- M.B. Earl 6- Tanton Earl 7- Lydia B. Sykes 8- Martha Earl 9- Ann Bruere 10- Hannacena A. Earl 11- Mary Sykes 12- Love or Susan 13- Rebecca L. Shrave / Mt. Pleasant 14- Emma Pott 15- Emania P. (Stevens ?) 16- John B. Curtis 17- Peter Bruer Lem 18- Elizabth A. Stevenson 19- John Sykes 20- Elizabeth (B or P ___ ) 21- Thomas Sykes 22- E.A. Earl 23- Rebecca Sykes 24- Peter Bruer Jurior 25- Harold Sykes 26- George Sykes 27- Mary A. Stevens 28- Paulina A. Lukins 29- (Sallie) Potts 30- Phebe R. Shreve / Mount Pleasant / NJ 31- Elizabeth K. Earl 32- Kate L. Earl 33- Hannah C. Earl 34- Sophia B. Kessler 35- Esther (Burliny) 36- Ann Sykes 37- John Kessler 38- Esther Potts 39- Betty Earl 40- Mary H. Earl / Walnut Grove
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