Dating back to 1869, this cotton quilt remains unfinished. Pieced by hand, there are “multiple quilt patterns with names and dates inscribed,” says Marjollet. Margaret Martin, Atwood House administrator, recalls a comment by her late mother. “My mom said she felt a lot of the women (quilters) were frustrated geometers,” Martin says. “They were not expected to go to school. Mathematical education was not encouraged.” Whether the women knew it or not, they created something of great historical importance—as Martin says, “a beautiful picture of what women all over this country must have been creating in that time period.”

The Atwood House Museum is interested in acquiring additional quilts for the collection, including quilts of historic significance created by Chatham residents between the mid-1800s and early 1900s, or quilts passed through families of current residents. For more information on the quilt collection or the Atwood House Museum, visit or call (508) 945-2493.

Mary Grauerholz is communications manager at the Cape Cod Foundation and a freelance writer.

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Mary Grauerholz

Mary Grauerholz is the communications manager of the Cape Cod Foundation and a freelance writer.

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