Memorial Day Quilts

Today is Memorial Day in the United States, a day to honor the men and women who lost their lives while serving in the armed forces. Throughout their history, quilts have been used to remember, comfort, and honor servicemen and women and their loved ones. From quiltmaking projects that gift quilts to grieving families, to quilts that capture the history of military sacrifices, today we’re sharing a few stories of quilts as memorials to those who served.

Dianne Higley shared her experience making quilts to comfort families who lost loved ones in Iraq:

I did a quilt for the Home of the Brave project too that the DAR did or is doing… I think it was maybe last year or the year before they did that project, the Home of the Brave. They asked each of the chapters to donate quilt squares or quilts and they would go to the families of the young men and women killed in Iraq, as a memory quilt. They used what is called an Album pattern where they had a little white square in the middle where the people could sign their names and the ladies in our chapter put their names in those little squares before we sent it in. Back during the Civil War where this pattern came from, they would have the family members sign their names and then they would send the quilt off to war with their soldier and a lot of these soldiers carried those quilts all the way through the war, but not many of them survived. When a soldier was killed, he would be buried in his quilt. Quilts have come a long way. Back then they were made out of scrap fabric what was left out of clothing that could no longer be worn, but now we go to the store and we buy fabrics and make them.


Carole Lyles Shaw
created a quilt to honor African-American servicemen and women. 
This quilt is part of a series of quilts and other mixed media art work that I am creating to honor the memories of ordinary men and women who served in the American Armed Forces, particularly in the early part of the 20th Century and most of the work features images and documents and so forth from 1960 or earlier… I happen to have been born in 1948 so in my lifetime literally we moved from a legally segregated army to a desegregated army although for many years there was still lots and lots of discrimination and limitations of roles that African American men and women could play. I downloaded the first page of Truman’s executive order and I superimposed over that these words, ‘They fought and died for American freedom before they had their own’ and those words, those are my words and to me it just captures once again the honorable service that African Americans have given since the Revolutionary War obviously, even though at the time of the Revolutionary War we were still enslaved legally. Following the Civil War we were legally free but not full citizens. That took many, many more years to happen, and now we have an African American supported by Americans of all colors and walks of life…

Making quilts can also help heal the grieving. Sandra Branjord shared a quilt that she made 10 years after the death of her son, who had served in the US military. 

Thank you, Clara Barton!

On this day in 1881, the American National Red Cross was founded in Washington, D.C. Founders Clara Barton and Adolphus Solomons started the organization to provide humanitarian aid to victims of war and natural disasters in affiliation with the International Red Cross, for whom Barton had worked during the Franco-Prussian War.

Quiltmaker Ann Holmes from Asheville, North Carolina, made “Thank You Clara Barton” as her entry to the Quilt Alliance’s “Home Is Where the Quilt Is” contest in 2012. Ann’s artist’s statement:

“It is amazing all that she accomplished for our country. Establishing a public school; “Angel of the Battlefield” during the Civil War; spent four years to identify over 22,000 missing soldiers; established the American Red Cross and served as president for 23 years; at 83, president of National First Aid Association. She certainly patched many lives together! Her work was not considered women’s work and never had the right to vote. Clara died in 1912.”

View this quilt on The Quilt Index to find out (just click on the image above). Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view or click the “See full record” link to see a larger image and all the data entered about this quilt.

Quilt Index partners

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Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance
amy.milne@quiltalliance.org

Browsing the Flower Pots.

Flower-themed patterns are this week’s Cruise & Use activity on The Quilt Index. I returned to the  Browse by Pattern Page where I chose Flower Pot.  This browsing category contains 81 records. The Browse by  Pattern page includes more than 200 of the most common patterns and their variations taken mostly from Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns, first edition.

Then I narrowed down my search by selecting six Flower Pot quilts to compare. Next, I clicked on the View Record link under each record’s image to view the Basic record view for each quilt. Click on the images below to find out more about each quilt.

Unknown, Family member – possibly great grandmother. Flower Pot. 1930-1949. From Florida Quilt Project, SunBonnet Sue Quilt Guild. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=53-9E-34. Accessed: 05/6/2015

Day, Judy. Flower Pot in a Cottage Garden. 1999. From National Quilt Museum, Oh Wow! Miniature Quilt Collection. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=1C-3B-F6. Accessed: 05/6/2015

Moody, Johanna Belle. Flower Basket. Circa 1930. From North Carolina Museum of History, North Carolina Quilt Project. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=4B-82-B5A. Accessed: 05/6/2015

flower pot. (Maker not recorded). 1800-1849. From Minnesota Quilters Inc., Minnesota Quilt Project (MQP). Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=49-7E-A2. Accessed: 05/6/2015

Cactus Basket. (Maker not recorded). From Wyoming Quilt Project, Inc., Wyoming Quilt Project, Inc.. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=51-8C-5AE. Accessed: 05/6/2015

Tip: you can easily generate a citation for any image documented in The Quilt Index by clicking on the How to Cite This Record link at the bottom of each record’s basic or full display page. You can then copy and paste the citation, as I’ve done with images below.

Take your own Browse by Pattern adventure on The Quilt Index today!

Click on each image to view these quilts on The Quilt Index to read more about their history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view or click the “See full record” link to see a larger image and all the data entered about each quilt.


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance
amy.milne@quiltalliance.org

April Showers Bring May Flower Baskets

This week’s Cruise & Use activity on The Quilt Index features flower-themed patterns. To start my cruising adventure, I went to the  Browse by Pattern Page where I chose Flower Basket. Initially my browse returned this happy grid view of 325 records:

Then I narrowed down my search by selecting six quilts to compare.

Next, I clicked on the View Record link under each record’s image to view the Basic record view for each quilt. Click on the images below to find out more about each quilt.

Tip: you can easily generate a citation for any image documented in The Quilt Index by clicking on the How to Cite This Record link at the bottom of each record’s basic or full display page. You can then copy and paste the citation, as I’ve done with images below.

Oliver, Nina. Flower Basket. From Louisiana Regional Folklife Program, Louisiana Quilt Documentation Project. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=1B-3A-8C3. Accessed: 05/4/2015

Maker, unknown. Friendship Quilt. 1857-2011. From Massachusetts Quilt Documentation Project – MassQuilts, MassQuilts. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=1D-FC-1150. Accessed: 05/4/2015

Menzies, Sylvia Idella. Flower Basket. c1900. From Michigan State University Museum, Michigan Quilt Project. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=1E-3D-F8. Accessed: 05/4/2015

Wakeman, Jennie. Flower Basket. 1860-1890. From State Historical Society of Iowa, IQRP . Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=18-36-197. Accessed: 05/4/2015

Flower Basket. (Maker not recorded). 1860-1875. From Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin, Winedale Quilt Collection. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=4F-88-6. Accessed: 05/4/2015

Stanley, Lura. Flower Basket quilt, old. September 29, 1978. From American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project Collection. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=22-42-104. Accessed: 05/4/2015

Take your own Browse by Pattern adventure on The Quilt Index today!

Click on each image to view these quilts on The Quilt Index to read more about their history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view or click the “See full record” link to see a larger image and all the data entered about each quilt.


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance
amy.milne@quiltalliance.org

1933 Sears Quilt Contest Entries Documented in The Quilt Index

While doing a Cruise & Use tour of the browsing categories in The Quilt Index this week, I came across one of my favorite quilt collections documented in the Index–the Waldvogel Archival Collection. This is one of the first private collections contributed to The Quilt Index and currently includes 86 records of quilts and quilt-related ephemera. From the collection description page:

Merikay Waldvogel has collected and researched quilts since the mid 1970s. Although she has also written about older quilts, her primary interests are in the 20th century: the 1933 Sears Quilt Contest, Depression Era Quilts, as well as quilt designers, authors and companies that propelled the 20th century quilt styles.

 

Waldvogel became an outspoken advocate for saving quilt ephemera such as quilt catalogs, newspaper columns, batting wrappers, advertisements, contest fliers, etc. when she wrote Soft Covers for Hard Times: Quiltmaking and the Great Depression and Patchwork Souvenirs of the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. The ephemera served as reliable primary sources to authenticate the quilts she was researching.

I found 8 stunning quilts from the Waldvogel Archival Collection, all entries for the Sears Quilt Contest at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, to share with you today. You can find these quilts and more Challenge or Contest Entry quilts by browsing the Index by Purpose/Function.

Tip: you can easily generate a citation for any image documented in The Quilt Index by clicking on the How to Cite This Record link at the bottom of each record’s basic or full display page. Just click this link and copy and paste the citation, as I’ve done with images below.

Longsworth, Jeannette Morgan. Nineteen Hundred Thirty Three. 1933. From Waldvogel Archival Collection, Sears Quilt Contest 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=5B-9D-E. Accessed: 04/29/2015

Matthews, Edith Morrow. The Spectrum. 1933. From Waldvogel Archival Collection, Sears Quilt Contest 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=5B-9D-C. Accessed: 04/29/2015

Rowley, Richard Henry. Bird’s Eye View of the Chicago World’s Fair. 1933. From Waldvogel Archival Collection, Sears Quilt Contest 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=5B-9D-28. Accessed: 04/29/2015

Fitzgerald, Mary O’Halloran. Fort Dearborn Quilt (Green Merit Ribbon). 1933. From Waldvogel Archival Collection, Sears Quilt Contest 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=5B-9D-1F. Accessed: 04/29/2015

Wiegand, Elizabeth M.. I Will. From Waldvogel Archival Collection, Sears Quilt Contest 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=5B-9D-1A. Accessed: 04/29/2015

Fitzgerald, Elizabeth Skelly. Transportation Quilt (Commemorative Quilt-Green Merit Ribbon). 1933. From Waldvogel Archival Collection, Sears Quilt Contest 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=5B-9D-19. Accessed: 04/29/2015

Andres, Emma Mary Martha. Woman Spinning (Green Merit Ribbon). 1933. From Waldvogel Archival Collection, Sears Quilt Contest 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=5B-9D-17. Accessed: 04/29/2015

Wetzel, Olive Thomas. State of Illinois (Commemorative Contest Category). 1933. From Waldvogel Archival Collection, Sears Quilt Contest 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=5B-9D-15. Accessed: 04/29/2015

To start your browsing journey, visit the home page of The Quilt Index, www.QuiltIndex.org, locate the Browse menu at the top and click on Main. You’ll find six different options for browsing:

Click on each image to view these quilts on The Quilt Index to read more about their history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view or click the “See full record” link to see a larger image and all the data entered about each quilt.


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance
amy.milne@quiltalliance.org

Contest Quilts Documented in The Quilt Index

I’d like to continue our Cruise & Use tour of the browsing categories in The Quilt Index this week.

To start your browsing journey, visit the home page of The Quilt Index, www.QuiltIndex.org, locate the Browse menu at the top and click on Main. You’ll find six different options for browsing:

 

This week we’re going to Browse by Purpose/Functon and today’s topic is Challenge or Contest Entry.

 

Here are two of my favs from this category, both entries for the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago, Illinois. Tell us your top picks here on the blog or via the Quilt Index Facebook page.

Tip: you can easily generate a citation for any image documented in The Quilt Index by clicking on the How to Cite This Record link at the bottom of each record’s basic or full display page. Just click this link and copy and paste the citation, as I’ve done with images below.

 

Billick, Helen E.. World’s Fair Building. 1933. From Illinois State Museum, . Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=16-33-159. Accessed: 04/27/2015

 

Carpenter, Lillie Belle Shaffer. Rising Sun. 1933. From Waldvogel Archival Collection, Sears Quilt Contest 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=5B-9D-4. Accessed: 04/27/2015

Click on each image to view these quilts on The Quilt Index to read more about their history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view or click the “See full record” link to see a larger image and all the data entered about each quilt.


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance
amy.milne@quiltalliance.org

Browse the Quilt Index: Doll Quilts/Toys

Whether you are new to the Quilt Index or a passionate power user, this week I’d like to introduce you to a few of the browsing categories set up by Quilt Index staffers.

To start your browsing journey, visit the home page of The Quilt Index, www.QuiltIndex.org, locate the Browse menu at the top and click on Main. You’ll find six different options for browsing:

 

This week we’re going to Browse by Purpose/Functon and today’s topic is Doll Quilt/Toy.

 

Here are five of my favs from this category. Tell us your top picks here on the blog or via the Quilt Index Facebook page.

Tip: you can easily generate a citation for any image documented in The Quilt Index by clicking on the How to Cite This Record link at the bottom of each record’s basic or full display page. Just click this link and copy and paste the citation, as I’ve done with images below.

Log Cabin; String. (Maker not recorded). 1900 – 1930. From Mountain Heritage Center, Southern Appalachian Quilts. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=1F-3E-4. Accessed: 04/23/2015

 

Read, Jennie. Around the World. ca. 1930. From University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island Quilt Documentation Project. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=4D-85-18D. Accessed: 04/23/2015

 

Simonsen, Anna Umbreit. Whole cloth doll quilt. Circa 1880. From Wisconsin Quilt History Project, . Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=42-75-238. Accessed: 04/23/2015

 

Duck and Ducklings. (Maker not recorded). From State Historical Society of Iowa, Mary Barton Collection. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=18-36-72. Accessed: 04/23/2015

 

Gasperik, Mary. What Are Little Girls Made Of?. 1940. From Gasperik Collection, Mary Gasperik Private Collection. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=48-7C-4C. Accessed: 04/23/2015

 

Click on each image to view these quilts on The Quilt Index to read more about their history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view or click the “See full record” link to see a larger image and all the data entered about each quilt.


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance
amy.milne@quiltalliance.org