This quilt was made in 1852 in Chester County, Pennsylvania. It was made as a quilt for Mary McClellan Criswell on her engagement to Jesse Jackson Smith. Mary's family, friends and neighbours all contributed to make blocks for the quilt. And on each block the maker signed their name, where they lived and a few added some best wishes.
The Criswell quilt is typical of signature quilts made in the 1850s. Red and green was a popular colour combination for the period, and by 1840 red and green fabrics were reliable and affordable. Friendship quilts such as this one were first made in the early 1840s in the Delaware Valley region of Pennsylvania and the trend quickly spread through the eastern United States. (Source Roderick Kiracofe, The American Quilt: A History of Cloth and Comfort 1750 - 1950)
So, please accept an invitation to come on a journey of discovery about Mary Criswell's quilt and the friendship it represents. You may even make a quilt of your own!