In Museums

Stella Rubin has been buying and selling antiques, specializing in American antique quilts, since 1976.

She has sold to most of the major museums in the United States, including The Metropolitan Museum of ArtThe Smithsonian InstitutionColonial WilliamsburgThe DAR; the International Quilt Study Center and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Below is a sampling of the quilts from our collection that you can find in museums.

Euphemia Kichlein
Pictorial Quilt

American 1832

Acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art

"This quilt is one of four known quilts and several quilted pillowcovers made by the Schleifer/Kichlein women in the 1830s. It demonstrates their unique family style of alternating red and white pieced blocks with embroidered blocks. In this case, red and white blocks in the "Reel" or "Orange Peel" pattern alternate with blocks of white embroidered cotton. The central block of the quilt is embroidered with a fashionably dressed couple and a small boy, and an inscription that reads "Euphemia Kichlein 1832." The quilt was completed in 1832 Euphemia Kichlein, likely with the help of her mother Christina Schleifer Kichlein as Euphemia was only 14 years old."

Hawaiian Quilt, Lei Mamo pattern

ca. 1930

Acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art

"The techniques and designs of Hawaiian quilts such as this one are unique to makers of native Hawaiian heritage. Quilts started being made by Hawaiian women in the 19th century after Christian missionaries brought mainland American quilts to the islands with them, and used them as models to teach the Hawaiian women how to sew. Up until then, Hawaiian women had their own bedcover making tradition. They would pound the inner bark of the wauke plant until it was thin and supple, making it into sheets of kapa, which were then decorated with painted patterns."

Crazy Quilt

ca. 1880–85

Acquired by Metropolitan Museum of Art

"Crazy quilts, a fad in the last decades of the nineteenth century, were most commonly pieced from irregularly shaped bits of velvet and silk. This exuberant quilt is far more unusual, since its unknown maker chose to craft it from brightly patterned cottons. The cottons create an album of fashionable, though inexpensive, fabrics of the 1880s, including Egyptian Revival and Japanesque designs, children’s handkerchiefs, and pieces of “cheater” cloth—fabric that was printed to imitate patchwork. One of the handkerchiefs, printed with playing cards, is inscribed “ORIENTAL PRINT WORKS, APPONAUG, RI.” It is possible that this mill produced many of the fabrics found in the quilt."

Tumblers Crazy Quilt

Amish maker American
ca. 1910–20

Acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art

"The Amish community in Arthur, Illinois, has been stable and prosperous since its beginnings in 1865, when Amish people from communities farther east moved west to Illinois in search of open land to farm. This piece reflects the influence of the quilting traditions of the Pennsylvania Amish since it is pieced of richly colored wools of the type they favor. But because the religious strictures of the Arthur community are somewhat more relaxed than those in Pennsylvania, Arthur quiltmakers are allowed a greater degree of creativity in their designs. The Arthur Amish are especially known for a group of rather eccentric quilts from the early twentieth century based on crazy patterns, as seen in this example."

Amish Split Bars Quilt

ca. 1930

Acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art

"This Split Bars quilt is an example of the type of centrally focused pattern most favored by the Lancaster County Amish, and it is clear how it may have "grown" out of simpler early patterns like the Center Square and Bars (1973.124). The jewel-like colors of the blue-gray, magenta, green, and red wool fabric make this quilt a particularly appealing example of the pattern. As is usual for this type of quilt, the central striped panel is diamond quilted, and the borders around it are embellished with fancier quilting. There is a floral vine in the narrow red border, and the wide border is quilted with a feather vine and additional shorter runs of feather quilting that terminate in tulips."

Grandma Carpenter Map Quilts

We are pleased to have sold two quilts made by Harriet and Uriah Carpenter (aka Grandma Carpenter) to The International Quilt Museum. One of the quilts is a map of the United States and the other is a map of Pennsylvania. 

These two quilts were drawn out by Harriet's husband Uriah and executed by Harriet. They were made as teaching tools for their grandchildren. They are illustrated in "Quilting Traditions" by Patricia T. Herr who described Grandma Carpenter as "the most innovative Lancaster County quilt maker yet known".  

These quilts will join two others in the IQM collection where they have Carpenter's Rainbow Quilt as well as her Stars and Comets. The quilts were made at the turn of the 20th century.