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Signature quilt

Odessa, Delaware



Eliza Naudain Corbit


110 in x 102 in



Credit Line

Historic Odessa Foundation, The David Wilson Mansion, Inc.

Accession Number



Names are inked onto each square, some of which have additional inscriptions, sayings, or verses.

Condition Notes

The hand-stitched top layer is now machine-stitched around the edges to a twentieth-century unquilted backing. The fragile top has splits, tears, and losses throughout.


Ex coll. Mrs. E. Tatnall (Mary Corbit) Warner


Also called an album or friendship quilt, this signature quilt captures the world of acquaintences of Eliza Naudain (1810-1844), the wife of Daniel Corbit.  The eighty-one 8-1/2-inch squares, signed by different people, represent relatives and friends from the Odessa area, Philadelphia and West Chester, and as far away as Galena, Illinois.  The dates on the squares span 1842 to 1844.  Although details are unknown, the circumstances of this quilt project were sad:  Eliza likely suffered from a long-term illness during which the quilt was made as an affirmation of her life and a preparation for her death.  Eliza's mother contributed a square that says, “From / thy mother / Mary C Corbit.”  She died in 1845, a year after Eliza.

The nine rows of nine squares, separated by brown calico (printed cotton) 3-inch-wide strips, are made in a pattern called “mountain peak.”


Jessica Nicoll, Quilted for Friends: Delaware Valley Signature Quilts, 1840–1855 (Winterthur, Del.:  Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, 1986), 12–13, 32–33.

Quaker Aesthetics: Reflections on a Quaker Ethic in American Design and Consumption, ed. Emma Jones Lapsansky and Anne A. Verplanck (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 2003), 155.

Zimmerman, A Storied Past, 202-203.