By: Ellen F. Eanes
These nine quilts from Meckenburg County, if not kin, are definitely connected. They were made within a period of forty years at the very most, by women who knew each other well. I became involved in this history because in January 1981, five Broderie Perse quilts owned by the Mint Museum of History in Charlotte were shown to me by the assistant curator, Barbara Taylor. A few weeks later, four more were brought to the museum on a “Quilt Identification Day.” These four had been made by one woman who died in 1835. All nine quilts had a central medallion motif, but different designs. The chintz fabrics used for the centers and embellishment were identical in two quilts made by different women. The next year, two quilts with a Tree of Life design came to my attention. One was dated 1826. I was able to trace the genealogy of the makers of three of the museum’s quilts and the others as well. When all my information was put together, I realized these quiltmakers had many common bonds and if not related by marriage, had connections through business or church.