Album quilts traditionally served as memorial keepsakes given to loved ones or respected individuals when they moved away from home and community. Often each individual block was made and signed by various friends and relatives. In the case of this Family Album Quilt, the entire quilt was created by Doris Waddell herself, between 1987 and 1990, for a total of 4000 hours. Six blocks represent her immediate family members and herself, doing a favourite activity in a familiar setting. Stylistically and technically, Waddell’s quilt is inspired by the distinctive designs of traditional appliquéd Baltimore Album Quilts. These quilts were popular in the 1840s and 1850s in Baltimore, Maryland, where quilters had ready access to a variety of cotton fabrics through the seaport city’s booming textile mills and European imports. By the early 19th century, cotton had grown in popularity for clothing and household textiles; and some textile historians have suggested that Baltimore album designs were inspired by early chintz fabrics. Largely for presentation rather than utility, Baltimore Album Quilts were usually made from new fabrics not scraps, and were indicators of prosperity – often commissioned by wealthy society ladies from accomplished quilt designers and makers.