Liberty Bell cheater cloth.

On this day in 1776, the Liberty Bell, a 2,000-pound copper and tin bell, rang out from the tower of the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia calling citizens to come and hear the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence, signed four days earlier. The crack in the Liberty Bell is though to have first happened when tolling for the funeral of U.S. Chief Justice John Marshall in 1835, and then expanded to it’s current size in 1846.

An unnamed quilter from New Jersey hand pieced and hand quilted this Centennial Quilt in 1876. “This patriotic quilt is sewn from 18 printed Centennial banners. Each of the twelve banners on the outside edge has thirteen red and white stripes and thirty-nine white stars on a blue field. The fabric includes Cheater fabric (pre-printed appliqué or pieced design) depicting flags and portraits of George Washington….Above [Washington’s] head is the Liberty Bell with the crack showing.” The quilt was passed down by the granddaughter of the maker, who was a young girl at the time the quilt was made, and documented as part of The Heritage Quilt Project of New Jersey, Inc.

View this quilt on The Quilt Index to find out! Read more about its history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view or click the “See full record” link to see a larger image and all the data entered about that quilt.


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Amy Milne headshot

Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance

This entry was posted in On this Day in History Quilts series and tagged , , , by quiltalliance. Bookmark the permalink.

About quiltalliance

The Quilt Alliance is a nonprofit 501c3 organization established in 1993 whose mission is to document, preserve, and share our International quilt heritage by collecting the rich stories that historic and contemporary quilts, and their makers, tell about our nation's diverse peoples and their communities. In support of this mission, the Alliance brings together quilt makers and designers, the quilt industry, quilt scholars and teachers, and quilt collectors to further the following goals: To promote the understanding of the quilt as an important grassroots art form. To make information about quilts available to a broad public. To educate the public about the importance of documenting quilts and quiltmakers so that their stories will not be lost.

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