Official Nebraska Government Website Nebraska State Historical Society

Patchwork Lives

Patchwork Lives

Arriving

Reactions to arriving on the Great Plains were as varied as the women who recorded them. For many the landscape was dramatically different from what they left behind. Some viewed coming west as a great adventure and spoke of being "happy as could ever be, even in our little dugout." Others were fearful and homesick. Still, they came.

"I can hardly expect ever to see you all again, until we all meet above."
Martha Ann Devoll Mott letter, October 1879, MS1554, Nebraska State Historical Society

"When I look back on these early struggles I regard them as the happiest days of my life."
Mrs. Otis, Tecumseh Chieftain, July 2, 1931


Signature Quilt
Maker unknown, probably made in Delaware County, New York
(Multiple names inscribed on quilt)
Dated 1846-1849
95.5" x 79.5"
International Quilt Study Center, James Collection, 1997.007.0927

Friendship and signature quilts commemorated the relationships being left behind as women departed for the West, possibly never to see family and friends again. Many of these types of quilts were treasured as mementos of their former lives. Both the 1840s craze for autograph albums and the invention of indelible ink contributed to the popularity of this style of quilt.


Sawtooth Star
Betsy Baker Mead, New York, and Adelia Mead Vore, Crete, Nebraska
1875-1885
88" x 67"
Nebraska State Historical Society,
Source: Rena E. Vore, Lincoln

Adelia Mead Vore of Crete, Nebraska, made this quilt out of sawtooth star quilt blocks she brought with her to Nebraska in 1885. The quilt blocks were originally made by her mother Betsy Baker Mead of Warsaw, New York.


Floral Album
Maker unknown, probably made in Auburn, Illinois
(Multiple names inscribed on quilt)
Circa 1860-1870
85" x 84.5"
International Quilt Study Center, James Collection, 1997.007.0153

Album quilts made by friends and family commemorated the relationships being left behind as women departed for the West. Many of these types of quilts were treasured as mementos of their former lives. Called albums because each block was unique, as in a photo or autograph album, these quilts often incorporated floral patterns that women found in their own gardens or in the natural landscape of their homes.


Six Point Star of Bethlehem
Maker possibly Jane Crabtree Dake, New York
1855 or earlier
79" x 70"
Nebraska State Historical Society, Source: Mrs. Marietta Kerl, Geneva, Nebraska
9012-6

In 1862 this quilt traveled with Jane Crabtree Dake from New York to Iowa. Ten years later, it was part of the household goods loaded into a covered wagon and driven from Iowa to Franklin County, Nebraska, where the Dakes lived, first in a dugout and then in a soddy.


Floral Signature Quilt
Maker unknown, probably made in Pennsylvania
(Multiple names inscribed on quilt)
Circa 1850-1860
81.5" x 84"
International Quilt Study Center, Holstein Collection, 2003.003.0246

Friendship album quilts often commemorated the relationships being left behind as women departed for the West. Many of these types of quilts were treasured as mementos of their former lives as women built new futures. These quilts were called albums because each block was unique, as in a photo or autograph album. Both the 1840s craze for autograph albums and the invention of indelible ink influenced the popularity of this style of quilt.


North Carolina Lily
Catherine Eby Miller, North Manchester, Indiana
1857
84" x 86"
Nebraska State Historical Society, Source: Miss Pluma Sageser, Burbank, California
10646-3
Catherine Eby Miller made her North Carolina Lily quilt in North Manchester, Indiana, and brought it west to Alton, Iowa, in 1880. When Catherine's daughter Elizabeth headed west for Nebraska in 1886, the North Carolina Lily quilt went with her, where it adorned the bed in Elizabeth's sod house. The lily pattern was hand-appliquéd, assembled by hand and then quilted with six to eight stitches per inch.


Album Quilt
Maker unknown, possibly made in Battle Creek, Michigan
Circa 1869-1880
89" x 77"
International Quilt Study Center, James Collection, 1997. 007. 0308

Album quilts made by friends and family commemorated the relationships being left behind as women departed for the West. Many of these types of quilts were treasured as mementos of their former lives. Called albums because each block was unique, as in a photo or autograph album, these quilts often incorporated floral patterns that women found in their own gardens or in the natural landscape of their homes.


Kaleidoscope
Mary Rosenbaum, Virginia
1895
83" x 72"
Nebraska State Historical Society, Source: Ollie Rosenbaum, Lincoln, Nebraska
11692-3

When he was about thirty-three years old, William Rosenbaum of Kennard, Nebraska, returned home to Virginia to wed Josephine Clementine Falke. We believe William's mother, Mary Rosenbaum, presented him with this quilt as a wedding gift. The newlyweds then returned to Nebraska, where William was a blacksmith and farmer.

NSHS Home
Museum Exhibits

Patchwork Lives
Introduction

Inspiring the Future

Arriving

Building a Home

Believing

Providing Income

Community
Involvement

Showing Off

 

back next

 

  
International Quilt Study Center
 Nebraska State Historical Society logo  back next


NSHS Home  |  Search  |  Index  |  Top  |  Back  |  Next

http://www.nebraskahistory.org/sites/mnh/patchwork_lives/arriving.htm
Last updated 28 October 2005  

For questions or comments on the website itself, email nshs.web@nebraska.gov
Nebraska State Historical Society - P.O. Box 82554, 1500 R Street, Lincoln, NE 68501
Nebraska State Government Homepage
 |  Website Policies  |  © 2009 All Rights Reserved