By: Connie J. Nordstrom
One nineteenth-century Pot of Flowers quilt pattern in the red and green floral appliqué tradition has made a remarkable journey through time. The history of American quiltmakers and their quilts clearly shows that certain patterns appealed and survived the passage of time, while others appeared only briefly. Why and how this design survived and where it came from may always be an enigma, but this Pot of Flowers arrangement had an intrinsic allure that prevailed over obstacles that easily could have barred the transfer of the design. In spite of varied deterrents, it was loved enough to be repeated, largely unchanged, through a century and a half. By studying the details, the history, and the stories of all known examples of this pattern from 1850 to the present, the author has attempted to elucidate the origins of patterns and names, as well as the provenance of this unique quilt design.