AMERICAN RED CROSS QUILT
05 October 2019
David March © 2019
Owner: Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, London, SE1 6HZ
Museum category: Souvenirs and Ephemera
Related period: First World War (association)
Title: Quilt, Red Cross, U.S.
Catalogue Number: EPH 6517
CRCQ Research Group Reference No: MC040. Title: US WWI Signature.
Size: 64 in by 88 in
Top: Machine stitched in plain dress cotton and calico; approximately 6” squares generally each with a red cross 4½” across with 1½” arms.
Wadding: None, it is a coverlet.
Backing: White calico with a red border 2” wide.
Finishing: Backing brought to the front, machine and hand sewn with overlapped corners.
Quilting: Machine sewn in the ditch between each block.
Construction & design: A well-planned layout with names and other text hand written by a marker pen. In a prominent central block a US monogram is embroidered in red together with a pair of appliquéd US flags with flag staffs embroidered in gold thread.
Several blocks contain text describing the purpose of the quilt and its makers.
There are 694 names although some appear to be repeated.
The quilt layout appears to be based on a design described by Clara Washburn Angell in ‘The Modern Priscilla’ of December 1917.
Clara Angell envisaged a quilt of 15 columns and 19 rows, with names on both sides of the quilt which is slightly larger than the Pungoteague quilt. Nevertheless the central area of the quilt with a prominent red cross surrounded by blocks of names and the remainder of the front of the quilt largely taken up with names angled around smaller red crosses follows the layout described by Clara Angell.