On Mrs. Davis’s mahogany tester bed in the First White House of the Confederacy is a Crazy Quilt, prompting the question: “what is a Crazy Quilt?” Well, gentle readers, let me tell you…
The Crazy Quilt was a late 19th century type quilt originating with the Centennial in Philadelphia in 1876, so it actually has no Civil War/Confederate Association. That being true, your next question should be ” why is it in the First White House of the Confederacy”?
The answer to this one is because it is a type with which Mrs. Davis would have been familiar in her later years. Crazy Quilts, such as this, were made of scraps of fine silks and velvets, (in this case from neckties), and put together with nearly every stitch known to the skilled needlewoman.
Such quilts became textbook examples of the craft. They continued to be popular well into the twentieth century. The quilt in question is used as a coverlet on the “Lafayette” bed, which I will write about in my next blog.
The Quilt was donated by Mrs. Lela Legare, a descendant of the Glover family of Rosemount Plantation in Greene County, Alabama. Crazy Quilts are highly collectible on the modern antiques market. We have at least two others in the White House. Come and see if you can find them!!!