Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Nebraska Quilts and Quiltmakers

Since it is November now, and its getting colder at night, its time to put another quilt on the bed, I thought I would review one of my favorite non-fiction books we have at the library.

This is a lovely coffee table book, that was written by Patricia Crews, now one of the chief persons at the International Quilt Study and Museum in Lincoln, NE; and Ronald Nagule from the History Department of Wesleyan University in Lincoln, NE.

The book is seperated into chapters detailing the various forms of quiltmaking that was found in Nebraska, during the Nebraska Quilt Research Project done in the mid 1980s.  It tells the story of a select few of Nebraska quilts, that were either made here, or brought into Nebraska during the settling of the state.  Each chapter talks about pieced quilts, crazy quilts, applique quilts, etc.  Each quilt has a overall photograph, some include a photograph of the maker as well.  The text that follows each quilt, describes the quilt and quilting, and also gives a brief synopsis of the maker as well if that information is known.

The last chapter of the book deals with Nebraska Treasures.  This is basically a broader area of detailing talking about the famous quilts that Nebraskans have made.  From Grace McCance Snyder of the North Platte area, who made the famous Flower Basket Petit Point quilt, which is pictured below; Ernest B Haight of David City, who revolutionized machine quilting, and several others.

If you are interested in quilting, this is a great book to review, and one of the best State Quilt History books that you will find.  It has won a few awards, and its a great reference book on midwest quilt making.

*Grace Snyder's "Flower Basket Petit Point" quilt, made in l942-43, is now on exhibit. A technical tour-de-force, this quilt was sixteen months in the making. More than 85,000 pieces and 5,400 yards of thread went into this mosaic-style masterpiece, which was patterned after the design on a china plate. Grace Snyder, who ranched north of North Platte, was inducted into the Congress of Quilters Hall of Fame in Arlington, Virginia, in l980. In 1999 the International Quilt Festival, held in Houston, Texas, selected this quilt as one of "The Twentieth Century's One-hundred Best American Quilts."

*Information was taken from the Nebraska State Historical Societies Sept / Oct 2004 Historical Newsletter. 

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