1944. 99" x 100"
Collection of the Illinois State Museum
In the1930s, Albert Small teased his wife and her friends about a quilt they had spent weeks and weeks working on. In response, his wife Eva challenged Albert to try his hand at it, to see if he could do any better.
Albert not only accepted the challenge, but set out to make a quilt with a record number of pieces. Mosaic #3 is the last of three quilts he made in his life and contains 123,200 hexagons, each only a 1/4-inch wide.
Albert worked on it from 1941 to 1944, at a time when fabric was scarce due to World War II. Everyday Albert walked to the dry goods store in town to check on incoming bolts of fabric, estimating that with careful planning and cutting, he could manage to get 6,000 quilt pieces from each yard of fabric.
Although he was a man of many interests, once Albert took up quilting, he devoted four hours a night, every night to his needle and tiny pieces of fabric. By day, Albert Small worked in an Illinois quarry handling dynamite.