Rationing and relief

On This Day in History Quilt for March 4:
On this day in 1781 Rebecca Gratz, the Jewish American educator and philanthropist, was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. At age 20 she helped found the “Female Association for the Relief of Women and Children in Reduced Circumstances.” She worked hard to help Jewish women in her community, especially those who were underprivileged, integrate into American life and culture without making religious or moral sacrifices.


Jewish American quiltmaker Bertha Stenge of Chicago, Illinois made this quilt around 1946. The title of the quilt is O.P.A., referring to the Office of Price Administration, the governmental agency in charge of rationing food during wartime. The quilt is owned by the Illinois State Museum who contributed it to The Quilt Index. The record includes this description about construction:

“Hand Piecing, Hand Applique, Appliqued seahorses (possibly representing sardines) on pieced blocks in center and border, Inner border of distorted diamonds, flat boxes (sardine tins ?) and stuffed work representing celery and keys for tins.”

View this quilt on The Quilt Index to read more about it’s history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view.


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance

This entry was posted in On this Day in History Quilts series and tagged , , , by quiltalliance. Bookmark the permalink.

About quiltalliance

The Quilt Alliance is a nonprofit 501c3 organization established in 1993 whose mission is to document, preserve, and share our International quilt heritage by collecting the rich stories that historic and contemporary quilts, and their makers, tell about our nation's diverse peoples and their communities. In support of this mission, the Alliance brings together quilt makers and designers, the quilt industry, quilt scholars and teachers, and quilt collectors to further the following goals: To promote the understanding of the quilt as an important grassroots art form. To make information about quilts available to a broad public. To educate the public about the importance of documenting quilts and quiltmakers so that their stories will not be lost.

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