The Chester Criswell Quilt is a bridal quilt made for Mary McClellan Criswell on the occasion of her marriage to Jesse Jackson Smith. Mary Criswell was a resident in Lower Oxford, Chester County, Pennsylvania in 1852; her family and friends joined together to make her an applique quilt in red and green.
The large quilt measures 104 inches. 2.6 metres square and is composed of sixty-one blocks. Each block carries one or two names written in ink; many blocks include a township in Chester County. The quilt is not in good condition. It was used by Mary and husband Jesse for many years until it was worn out but the names have remained unfaded.
The Chester Criswell signature quilt is unique in that it is still in the same family after 160 years. The current owner of the quilt is Sharon Barnes, great-great-granddaughter of Mary Criswell. Sharon is a keen quilt maker and family historian and has been researching the community of block makers for the last three years. Sharon is nearly finished her own slightly smaller reproduction of the quilt and has made the patterns available online to anyone who wishes to re-create this magnificent piece of domestic history.