The historic quilts in this exhibit
reflect social, political, and artistic changes that occurred
from the 1850s to the 1920s. Quilts
provided warm bedding for families, but also served as a means
of self-expression through which hopes, memories, and beliefs
were communicated. Patterns came from a variety of places, yet
the individual maker's artistry can be seen in the choice of
materials, arrangement of color, and skill of piecing. Drawn
from the collections of the International Quilt Study Center
and the Nebraska State Historical Society, these quilts provide
examples of how women strove to achieve beauty and structure
in the midst of change.
Inspiring the Future
How do you think quilters from the past
would feel if they knew their work was being displayed in a museum?
Most quilt makers know that the
piece they are creating will live beyond them, but did they understand
the lasting legacy of their handiwork? The work of quilters past
continues to inspire quilt makers today-these contemporary quilts
pay tribute to the artistry and workmanship seen in the historic
quilts in this exhibit.
Tribute to Pioneer Women
Ginny Landkamer, Lincoln, Nebraska
47.5" x 47.5"
International Quilt Study Center, Nebraska State Quilt Guild,
A Tribute to Pioneer Women was the Nebraska State Quilt Guild
Quasquicentennial Quilt Contest Winner in 1992. The figure in
the center, looking out over the rolling hills of the prairie,
is framed by a border containing embroidered images of pioneer
life. The objects, including a plow, windmill, log cabin, and
kitchen stove are set within an interwoven barbed wire design.
The central focus is enclosed within log cabin blocks and edged
with Prairie Points, a triangular binding.
Months of the Year
Edith Darling, Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska
93" x 76.75"
Nebraska State Historical Society, Source: Cliff's Notes, Inc.,
This quilt depicts Edith Darling's interpretation of John G.
Neihardt's descriptions of the months of the year as presented
in his book, Black Elk Speaks. Darling designed, hand-appliquéd,
and embroidered this quilt for the Nebraska Educational Television
annual fundraising auction in 1979. Women of the United Presbyterian
Church of Morrill, Nebraska, did the quilting. Cliff's Notes,
Inc. of Lincoln purchased the quilt and donated it to the Nebraska
State Historical Society.
Paulette Peters, Elkhorn, Nebraska
72" x 72"
On loan to International Quilt Study Center from the artist
The Promise, was a finalist representing the state of Nebraska
in the Great American Quilt Contest sponsored by the Museum of
American Folk Art in 1986 to commemorate the centennial of the
Statue of Liberty. A newly arrived immigrant family gazes toward
the rolling hills of the American frontier. A bright sky is rich
with the promise of freedom and prosperity.
of the Covered Wagon States
Mildred Bradstreet Stevens, Nebraska
87" x 76"
Nebraska State Historical Society, Source: Sylvia A. Stevens,
Apache Junction, Arizona
Mildred Bradstreet Stevens, born and raised in Holt County, completed
this quilt in 1960. It is based on a quilt pattern, History of
the Covered Wagon States, featured in seventeen weekly installments
in the Omaha World Herald in the 1930s.