Double Irish Chain


Quilt Index Record: 4F-88-C9

Administrative Fields

InstProjNameF003a
Texas Sesquicentennial Quilt Association, Texas Quilt Search
InstNameF003
Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin
InstInvContrNumF004
tqs_0008

Information source fields

IdentPersonF006
Quilt owner
Relative of quiltmaker
Other
SourceOtherF006a
This quilt was identified and reviewed during the Texas Sesquicentennial Quilt Association's Texas Quilt Search, 1983-1985. Karey Bresenhan served as quilt historian.
DateDataF006b
1983-1985
RelnQuiltF007
Quilt owner
IfQownerF007b
Inherited
IfOtherF007d
The present owner of this quilt is the great granddaughter of its maker.

Overall Quilt Description

TypeObjF008
Finished quilt
OwnerNameF010
Double Irish Chain
OverallWidthF12a
69 in.
OverallLengthF012b
74 in.
ShapeEdgeF013
Straight
ShapeCornersF013b
Straight
PredomColorsF014
Blue or Navy
White
QuiltSpecColorF014a
Indigo Blue
OverallColorF14b
Two color
OverCondF015
Good/moderate use
DamageF016
Quilting thread broken or ties missing
Stains
Wear to edge or binding
OtherDamageF016a
water or possibly medicine stains
RepairHistF018
Embroidery intact and applique in good condition. In 1985, as part of the preparations for the “Lone Stars: A Legacy of Texas Quilts, 1836-1936” exhibit in the Texas Capitol Rotunda, the Texas Sesquicentennial Quilt Association sponsored a Quilt Conservation Seminar. Part of the seminar was a two-day intensive hands-on laboratory attended by quilt experts who stabilized, backed, or otherwise prepared the quilts, including this one, for this exhibition.
TypeInscripF019
Date
Message
Signature
ContInscripF020
At top right corner: "Patience, Industry, Economy, Prudence, Ingenuity, Encouraged" At top left corner: Presented to William Porter Spicer / by his mother, Harriet S F Spicer / April 1st 1854.
DateInscripF020a
1854
MethodInscripF021
Embroidery
OtherMethodInscripF021a
Cross stitched in red
LocInscripF022
other
OtherLocInscripF022a
corner
DateQuiltF023
1850-1875
DateFinishF023b
1854
FamDateF023c
1854
OtherExDateF023d
1854
OtherDateF023e
Karey Bresenhan

Quilt top description

LayFormatF024
Block pattern
SubjQuiltF025
overall design of blocks and stars bordered on three sides
NumBlockPatF030
Within the frame of fence posts and trees is the framed area of Double Irish Chain blocks in white and indigo print. Eighteen hand-pieced indigo print eight-pointed stars are on white blocks.
BlockStyleF030a
Squares
NumBordersF033
1 design border on three sides
BordDescF034
An intricate border of print indigo blue on white field consisting of hand-appliqued fence posts with embroidered pickets and what appear to be hand-pieced palm trees, or perhaps rose or oak trees. There is a stylized cartouche, reverse appliqued, in the two bottom corners.

Quilt top materials and construction

FiberTypesF035
Cotton
FabPrintF037
Print
Solid/plain
ConstrucF038
Hand Piecing
ConstrucF038b
Hand Applique
Reverse Applique
EmbellTechF038f
Yes
ConstrucF038g
Embroidery
PaperF038i
no

Quilt back materials and construction

FabFiberTypesF040
Cotton
ColorBackingF040b
White
DescBackF043
Same fabric used throughout
Solid/plain

Quilt binding

MatUsedF044
Cotton
UniqueBindF045a
same print indigo as on quilt front
ConstrucBindF046
Hand sewn
Home cut
Straight grain
WidthBindF047
less than a half inch

Quilt batting

BattLoftF048a
Thin (Less than 3/16?)

Quilting description

QuiltTechF049
Hand quilting
ThrTypeF049a
cotton
ThrColorF049b
white
DesignF052a
Outline
DesignF052d
outline quilting around trees, cartouches, blocks; not heavily quilted

Quilt notes and observations

FeaturesF053
Karey Bresenhan notes that this quilt, both in design and colors, has the look of early indigo-and-white woven coverlets. She sites a coverlet of a similar design, with fence, fence posts, and trees framing a center pattern, called Medallion with Rose Tree and Picket Fence (New York, 1842) pictured in America's Quilts and Coverlets.

Quiltmaker identification

QuiltTopF054
Spicer, Harriet Sophia Fyler
QuiltedByF055
Spicer, Harriet Sophia Fyler

Quilt provenance

LocMadeF057a
Amboy
ProvStateF057d
New York (NY)
ProvCountryF057f
United States
AcquiredF058
Inheritance
ProvenanceF058a
This quilt has passed through the quiltmaker's family. The quiltmaker made it for her first child, William Porter Spicer, who never married. He homesteaded in South Dakota in the 1880s, taking the quilt with him, then in 1913 moved with his brother to San Benito, Texas, as part of the land development movement in Texas's Rio Grande Valley. William Spicer, whom everyone called "Uncle Port," died during a flu epidemic in 1914, whereupon the quilt passed to his brother, the grandfather of the present owner Jean Brady Fox.
QuiltHistF059
The quiltmaker Harriet Sophia Fyler Spicer was born in 1820 in Sullivan, New York. She married in 1848, but eventually separated from her husband; she supported herself and her three children by quilting, weaving, and spinning. She made this quilt as a presentation quilt for her first-born son, William Porter Spicer. She began the quilt before William's birth and finished it two years after he was born. The present owner, Jean Brady Fox, stated that her Great Aunt Flora, the quiltmaker's daughter, said her mother called the quilt "Pennsylvania Around the Square."

Quilt purposes uses

ReasonsF060
Gift or presentation
QDesignF060b
Bedding, special occasion
PresUseF062
Keepsake/memento

Quilt design and materials sources

SourceMatF063
Unknown
TopSourceF064
Traditional pattern variation

Exhibition history of quilt

ExhibitListF067a
One of 62 Texas quilts exhibited in “Lone Stars: A Legacy of Texas Quilts, 1836-1936,” Texas State Capitol Rotunda, Austin, Texas, April 19-21, 1986.

Quilt ownership and contact info

OwnershipF082
Private
OwnerNameF082a
Fox, Jean Brady
OwnerStateF086
Texas (TX)
OwnerCountryF086b
United States
SourceInfoF088b
Texas Sesquicentennial Quilt Association, Texas Quilt Search records
DateObtainedF088c
1985

Other source materials available for this quilt

RelItemsF088a
Bresenhan, Karoline Patterson and Nancy O'Bryant Puentes, Lone Stars: A Legacy of Texas Quilts, Vol. I, 1836-1936 (Austin: University of Texas Press: 1986), p. 38-39.

Quiltmaker personal information

MaidenF097b
Fyler, Harriet Sophia
GenderF098
Female
BirthDateF099
16/17/1820
MarriageF099b
01/09/1848
DeathF100
03/06/1879
BirthplaceStateF098b
New York
BirthplaceCountryF098d
United States
EnviroF104c
Urban

Quiltmaker Family history

SpouseF113
Spicer, [unknown]
NoChildF116
3
NoFemF116a
2
NoMaleF116b
1

Quiltmaker personal quilting history

WhyQuiltF119
Gifts
Income
OtherF119a
Supported herself and three children in part by quilting for others, after separating from her husband

Other quilts made by quiltmaker

SellQuiltF127
yes

Other source materials available for quiltmaker

OtherSourceMat
Texas Sesquicentennial Quilt Association’s Texas Quilt Search Archives

Image Information

InvenNumF075
tqs_0008.jpg
ImageConF075a
whole quilt
ImageTypeF076
Color
SourceF077
positive/transparency
DateF079
1984
CE
photocredit079a1
Sharon Risedorph
AccessF080
Restricted
HolderF080a
Assistant Director Winedale
CreditLineF080b
Winedale
CopyRestF080c
Winedale P.O. Box 11 Round Top, TX 78954 (979) 278-3530

File Information

function
Image - medium display (250-550 pixels)
file_medium
image
file_format
jpeg
file_size
100 KB
Contributing Institutions
MATRIX: Center for Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences Online at Michigan State University, Michigan State University Museum, Alliance For American Quilts
Publisher
Quilt Index
Resource Type
StillImage

data verification

verify
yes
verifiedby
Adams, Katherine J.
dateverified
8
18
2007
CE

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