Remembering the Dressmakers.

On This Day in History Quilt for March 25:

On this day in 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory in New York City burned down killing 146 workers, mostly young immigrant women. Many of the victims died due to locked exterior doors, faulty elevators and fire escapes. The workers’ union organized a march on April 5 and some 80,000 people attended it. The disaster compelled the city to enact labor and fire safety reforms. The nonprofit Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition was founded in 2008 to establish a permanent memorial for the victims and promote new collaborations between communities to continue the fight for social justice for all.


Eugenia Mitchell made this quilt, titled “1911 Swatches of Gibson Girl Shirtwaist Batiste” in 1970.  Mitchell made the quilt out of fabric samples from her aunt, Emma Hartmeister, who was a dressmaker in St. Louis, Missouri. This is one of the original 101 quilts donated by Mitchell of Golden, CO, to start the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum.

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.


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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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