Museum Homepage

The San Mateo County Historical Association
Online Collections Database

The mission of the San Mateo County Historical Association is to inspire wonder and discovery
of the cultural and natural history of San Mateo County.

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number 2006.119.001
Description Rose of Sharon Quilt, March 12, 1863. Hand quilted cotton quilt with cream background and appliquéed design of red flowers with yellow centers and green leaves and stems. Edges are bound with green and red cloth. Signed "Susan Beaty / March 12th 1863" in black cross-stitch on the bottom right corner. Quilt has 9 blocks on point with matching floral designs. White triangles surrounding the floral blocks on the outside edges with white squares between the center and outer floral blocks. Floral design has an open flower at center that is surrounded by green leaves. Four stems with leaves radiate out toward the corners of the quilt block and end in a small open flower that is flanked by two buds. A serpentine pattern of green stems and leaves alternates with small open and closed flowers. Floral sections are hand quilted in a 0.25" diamond grid while the solid blocks have a feather motif with tiny squares in the background. The backing is cream-colored fabric.
Object Name Quilt, Bed
Collection 3D - Bedding
Title Rose of Sharon Quilt, March 12, 1863
Date March 12, 1863
Creator Beaty, Susan
Role Fiber Artist
Inscription Text "Susan Beaty / March 12th 1863" (black cross-stitch embroidered signature at bottom right corner)
Provenance Made by Susan Beaty, March 12, 1863
Notes "Rose of Sharon quilts were especially popular in the mid 19th century and made a comeback during the 1920s and 30s.

Although they were made for many reasons the most traditional purpose was for newlyweds. To many ninteenth century quilters this pattern represented romantic love and the sacrament of marriage.

Whatever the purpose these lovely appliqued quilts were usually considered a best quilt to be used only for special occasions or on a bed that would get little wear.

There are a great many variations in Rose of Sharon quilt patterns. Usually stems with leaves and flowers radiate from a central rose. There are also different ways the flowers can be arranged. One way was to make very large blocks, big enough that four of them were enough for the whole quilt. Often the borders consisted of vines with flowers . The picture to the left is an example of this style. Sometimes the this pattern is appliqued on whole cloth making more elaborate arrangements possible.

The Whig Rose is another name for this pattern. It is thought this name came from the 1828 United States Presidential election. The newly formed Whig party hoped to beat out Democrat, Andrew Jackson. The Whig party dissolved in the mid 19th century but the pattern name lived on.

Although Rose of Sharon quilts are more likely to have curved stems the real difference in the names is a matter of what the maker named it. It is also sometimes called the Democrat Rose, Wild Prairie Rose, Colonial Rose, Kentucky Rose or Mexican Rose. I'm sure it's had many other names as well. This is a good example of how varied the names can be for one pattern as well as varied pattern designs for one name."
Dimensions H-94 W-93 D-0.125 inches
Medium Textile
Search Terms Blankets
Household Linens
Subjects Quilting
People Beaty, Susan