Grandmother’s Quilt

Object Details

20th century
cotton, silk, wool, batting
88 × 77 1/4 in. (223.5 × 196.2 cm)
Cite As
Gift of Dianne Dale
This multicolored quilt spans a century and connects three generations of African American women with ties to Alabama and Anacostia, a neighborhood in southeast Washington, DC. Annie Strong Howard pieced the quilt top, on which chevrons spin in a pattern known by many names, such as Virginia Reel. The pinwheel-like designs align in four vertical columns either against the quilt top’s green background or highlighted in yellow rectangles that complement the quilt’s yellow binding. Of the seven yellow rectangles, five end or begin in patchwork squares in which stripes and polka dots in brown, black, and blue predominate. Annie Strong Howard’s daughter, Marie Howard Dale, was born in Montgomery, Alabama in 1914 and, thirty years later, moved to her husband’s lifelong home, Anacostia. In 1990, she gave the cotton, wool, and silk quilt top to her daughter, Dianne Dale, who repaired worn areas of the quilt and added batting and yellow calico backing to complete the quilt, all handstitched. She returned the quilt to her mother in the mid-1990s, who displayed it until a few years before passing away in 2011. The quilt is part of a collection of objects and papers that tell the story of the Dale-Patterson family across generations and geographies (ACMA.06-074).
Accession Number
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Anacostia Community Museum Collection
Data Source
Anacostia Community Museum
Restrictions & Rights
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