Pieced quilt square
Cotton, ink and pencil
Overall: 9 x 9 x 1/8 in. ( 22.9 x 22.9 x 0.3 cm )
handwritten in ink: on obverse: "Miss Clara Bidwell" handwritten in pencil: on reverse: "Clara Bidwell / 1878"
Pieced white cotton plain-weave quilt square centering a "Dutch tulip" or "Caesar's crown" variation motif in over-dyed green and yellow calico and golden-yellow and brown calico printed fabrics, circa 1865; hand-pieced and sewn in a hand running-stitch; inscribed in ink by hand on obverse "Miss Clara Bidwell" and "Clara Bidwell 1873" in pencil on the reverse.
This quilt square was probably made for a "friendship" quilt, also known as a "album" or "signature" quilt. They were popular in the mid-nineteenth century and usually given to an individual to commemorate a birth, marriage or move away from the local area. Squares were often given as keepsakes to ladies of a community or church congregation who were moving west. This square relates to the appliquéd copper and brown maltese cross star-printed calico quilt square (INV.11961b).
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.