On this day in 1912, First Lady Helen Taft and Japanese Viscountess Chinda planted two Yoshina cherry trees on the Potomac River bank in Washington, D.C. The trees (3,000 of them) were a gift to the U.S. government from the Japanese. The blossoming trees were so popular that in 1934, city commissioners sponsored a 3-day celebration during the late March blooming of the trees. The Cherry Blossom Festival is now celebrated annually. In 2012, more than 1.5 million visitors attended the Centennial Celebration of the Gift of the Trees.
Josie Davidson, a Swedish immigrant living in Virginia near the Tennessee border, made this Vase of Roses and Cherries quilt in 1876, possibly as a wedding gift. Davidson hand appliqued, embroidered and quilted this piece. From this quilt record:
In 1905 the five sons, and presumably the quilt, came to Texas “to get rich laying track” for the railroad. The quilt has been handed down in the family to the present owner, a granddaughter of the quiltmaker.
The quilt was documented during the Texas Quilt Search and included in the book “Lone Stars: A Legacy of Texas Quilts, Vol. 1, 1836-1936 (Bresenhan and Puentes, Austin: University of Texas Press). One of 62 Texas quilts included in the “Lone Stars” exhibition at the Texas State Capitol Rotunda, Austin, Texas, April 19-21, 1986.
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.
Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance