Our collection of antique quilts and coverlets help tell the stories of the people who made and used them. They also allow us to learn about the skills and artistry used by many Cortland County women.
Coverlets are single layers of cloth, often woven with designs or embroidered. Our coverlet is somewhat unusual. It was made in 1831 of cotton homespun, woven and sewn by Lucinda Linnell Howland. The stenciled design was applied by a neighbor in Lisle, NY. Stenciled coverlets were more the fashion in rural neighborhoods rather than the more elaborate embroidered spreads. In the first half of the nineteenth century stenciling was a popular form of decoration for walls, furniture, and metal wares, but less common on fabric.
Our lovely coverlet has a somewhat famous history! It was featured in an article in the March, 1940 issue of the Magazine Antiques. In 1981, a group of women from the Genesse Chapter of the Northeast Society of Stenciling, based in Rochester, NY, copied designs from the coverlet. Using these designs, they packaged patterns in kits which the Society sold in 1982.The coverlet was donated by Miss Margaret White, granddaughter of Lucinda Linnell Howland.