By: Diana Church
During the first half of the nineteenth century, the domestic art of painted and stenciled furniture, walls, floors, and textiles came into vogue. Stenciled furniture, walls and floors have been located; however, numerous examples of stenciled textiles have not survived. To date, about thirty stenciled spreads have been located and only a handful of them are actually quilted.
The design source of stenciled spreads originated from the popular fad of theorem painting which occurred between 1800 and 1840. Instructions in the theorem painting, i.e., painting still-life pictures on fabric using stencil cut-outs, was transmitted by instruction books, itinerant teachers, or in classes at young ladies academies.