As a volunteer at the Rochester Historical Society I had the privilege of helping a dedicated group of women document and re-house the Society’s quilt collection, thus giving me several star quilts from which to choose. What attracted me to this c. 1840 Ohio Star was the opportunity to research the maker whose initials, DC, (Deborah A. Carpenter) are cross-stitched on the back. Rosemary Webster Smith (1916-1987) gave the quilt to the Society in 1986.
I decided to try and replicate the look of the quilt in a smaller size. Scaling the blocks was not a problem. The zigzag border, however, was a challenge. After re-doing the zigzags for a second time I had newfound respect for Deborah Ann who worked her magic without graph paper, a rotary cutter or plastic rulers.
I have found a Deborah A. Carpenter (1824-1909) who may have been the quilt maker but I haven’t been able to find a family connection between Deborah and Rosemary. Deborah was born in 1824 in New Rochelle, Westchester County, NY. Rosemary Smith is buried in Westchester County. Deborah married George Hall, Jr. on 30 October 1846, in New York City. They had one son. She lived in Westchester County all of her life. Both women had family connections in Rochester, NY. It’s possible the connection is through Rosemary’s husband, William Arthur Smith.
It’s a time consuming challenge but I have not given up my search.