Artwork Information

  • Title:

    Quilt in the Turkey Track pattern

  • Artist:

    Kelly, Melissa Pavey (attributed to)

  • Artist Bio:

    American, 1820–1896

  • Date:

    about 1860

  • Medium:

    AppliquГ©d and quilted cotton

  • Dimensions:

    91 x 74 inches

  • Credit Line:

    Wichita Art Museum, Gift of Martha E. (Betty) Overall

  • Object Number:


  • Display:

    Not Currently on Display

About the Artwork

19th-century American quilters believed that their textile patterns, and even the pattern names themselves, could influence the emotions and actions of the person who slept beneath the covering they adorned. Thus, “Turkey Track” was not the original pattern name for quilts displaying the composition of the Wichita Art Museum example attributed to Melissa P. Kelly. The original pattern name was “Wanderlust.” Due to fears that family members who slept beneath the quilt might decide to leave their families and journey west to settle the frontier lands, the pattern name was changed to “Turkey Tracks.” The three-pointed ellipses radiating from a central circle resemble the claw prints of turkeys.