Solar system quilt from 1876

My son, an amazing internet sleuth, is always keeping his eye out for interesting items related to quilting he can send my way.

He sent me a link on Friday to this blog entry at Bong Bong – showcasing the photo below.

1876 Solar system quilt by Ellen Harding Baker of Cedar County, Iowa

This stunning quilt of the solar system was made in 1876 by amateur astronomer Ellen Harding Baker of Cedar County, Iowa. The quilt is now in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution.

Here’s how they describe the quilt:

The design of Ellen’s striking and unusual quilt resembles illustrations in astronomy books of the period. Ellen used the quilt as a visual aid for lectures she gave on astronomy in the towns of West Branch, Moscow, and Lone Tree, Iowa. Astronomy was an acceptable interest for women in the nineteenthth century and was sometimes even fostered in their education.

It’s 89 in. by 106 in. The applique quilt is embelleshed with wool fabric and silk embroidery.

Quilted before Pluto was discovered in 1930 – so accurate than and now! 

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