Hanging on the wall in the upstairs hall is our extremely fine Gunboat Quilt made by Martha Jane Hatter of Greensboro, Alabama, prior to 1862. "Gunboat Quilts" were made by Alabama women as a fund-raising campaign for the purchase of a gunboat for the defense of Mobile Harbor.
When someone purchased the Quilt they were in turn supposed to offer it again for auction. It was sold twice in Tuscaloosa, once in Summerfield and once in Selma. The Quilt was finally purchased and kept by the Rev. Joseph Johnson Hutchinson, a Methodist minister of Summerfield, Alabama. It was donated to the FWH by Mrs. Mary Hutchinson Jones, Rev. Hutchinson's granddaughter, in 1928 and is one of our showcase pieces.
Here is a portion of the description of it from a 1988 issue of Alabama Heritage:"... with an embroidered basket in the center, appliqued spun silk flowers, and three dimensional strawberries. This quilt also contains nine birds and four butterflies, stuffed and appliqued on or around the basket. Framing the edges of the quilt are twenty-one floral bouquets, stuffed and embroidered in an alternating triangular pattern..."
We invite you to come and visit and view the Quilt, but hurry as it is going traveling in the spring... more about that in our next blog.