The Rising sun
Alabama Department of Archives and History
The Rising Sun (Mariner's Compass), ca. 1870s
Martha Martin Adams
Shelby County, Alabama
The Rising Sun is composed as squares divided by strings of cloth with rectangles at the crosses; such a quilt could be pieced by one quilter (or by multiple fastidious makers) and then combined to make a top. Martha Martin Adams was consistent in her use of colors and fabrics, repeating shapes and colors at an identical scale throughout. The quilt required significant patience and skill to cut and piece (or applique) the individual elements of the starburst forms, as well as the triangles and diamonds.
Martha Martin Adams (1854-1917) made the Rising Sun in the 1870s as part of her dowry, using natural materials available in Shelby County for the dyes. Martha married John Abram Adams in 1877 and lived in the area of Wilsonville until her death in 1917.
Back to quilt pair.