The fabrics that Henrietta chose for her quilt included both fine
wood-block printed cottons (printed by hand using wooden blocks)
and roller-printed cottons (printed with rollers by machine). The
corners of the quilt are decorated with applied wood-block printed
birds cut from expensive chintz fabric. The presence of both hand-
and machine-printed fabrics in the quilt represents the transition
from one technology to another.
To stitch the layers of her quilt together, Henrietta used a
variety of quilting patterns, including "teacup" quilting
and quilted oak leaf shapes. This quilting still retains pencil
marks that guided Henrietta’s talented hand as she sewed
tiny, even stitches—an impressive eleven to the inch.
Henrietta Johnson Wilson apparently had money to purchase fine
fabrics and enough leisure time to spend hours sewing her lovely
Nancy E.V. Bryk, Interim
Unfortunately, brown fabric
dyes have eaten through some of the quilt’s cotton fabric.
Our talented textile conservator, Fran Faile, has spent many hours
ensuring that the quilt will be sturdy enough to display despite