Easter 2021

I’m writing on Saturday, but you won’t read this until after all the eggs have been found.  I hope you had a happy Easter. And I hope you will enjoy this quick look at some of our Honoree’s Easter quilts.

Since Ruby McKim was last week’s topic, I’ll start with her. Here are the rabbits from the Peter Rabbit quilt; it was first published in 1916 in the Kansas City Star and is now adapted to a panel available on the McKim Studios website.

McKim was noted for the squared-off (quadratic) shape of some of her designs, but she also had softer images like the lambs in her Spring appliqué.  This was part of the Four Seasons series originally published in the 1930s and also available on the McKim Studios website. What do you think of the triangular dandelion?

McKim Studios

I had to look hard to find other Easter animal images by Honorees.  Ruth McDowell has an entire farm series, but her work, although wonderfully realistic, doesn’t say “Easter” to me. I only found one other rabbit, this one by Yvonne Porcella (who usually does those happy, frisky dogs). But she did an Asian-inspired quilt and included a rabbit (from the hare-in-the-moon tradition) on the back of it.

Yvonne Porcella, This is a Long Distance Call; reverse.

The Quilters Hall of Fame has, as part of the collection, a number of objects that are not necessarily connected to our Honorees, but are used for education. Among these is an extensive number of family quilts, historic fabric samples, and quilts made by our great friend, Arnold Savage.  This is one he finished in 2005 from a top constructed in 1934 of tiny Nine Patches that he made as a child while recovering from rheumatic fever. He hand quilted it with Easter eggs and named it “Opus 4 / Recovery Quilt 4 Easter Egg Quilt.” What an odd, but charming image to put in those alternate blocks! I wonder what made him choose that motif; maybe he was working on this at Easter-time.

When I thought about the Easter theme for this blog, the first thing that came to my mind was the Marie Webster French Basket pattern. Even though it’s filled with flowers instead of eggs and chocolate bunnies, it reminds me of an Easter basket. There is a good example of a completed quilt in the Hall of Fame collection, along with a pattern. As you’ll see in the third photo, instructions were sparse; but since this was sold as a stamped kit, maybe that was sufficient.

This design was very popular and appeared in other colorways. A few years ago, Honoree Georgia

Bonesteel designed reproduction fabrics based on Marie’s designs – this panel shows it in pink.

And here’s a French Baskets with a green background—which I like better, even though I’m usually a blue gal.

Indianapolis Museum of Art/Newfields

Webster designed three other basket quilts, Dutch Basket, Magpie Rose, and Pink Dogwood.  Here are some shots of them from our collection.

And she also had a Bunny quilt, with eggs on the ground and in the baskets.

Other Honorees made basket quilts. This is a Ruby McKim Flower Basket quilt in the Hall of Fame Collection. McKim also had a fruit basket design, but again, nothing with eggs (and certainly no Peeps).

Honoree, Anne Orr was famous for her postage stamp designs, and she created at least two basket images in this style.

And a dishware pattern was the inspiration for Grace Snyder’s tour de force, Flower Basket Petit Point. There is a small plate in that pattern in the Hall of Fame Collection.

Of course, Marie Webster and many other pattern creators had lovely Spring flower designs which would be timely to show, but I’ll save those for another time. I want to stay on the Easter theme—unlike the editor here who really stretched the connection. I would not call those motifs “Easter Lily”, even if Honoree Ruth Finley did; it looks more like pomegranate and coxcomb to me.

The Advocate-Messenger, Danville, KY. April 12, 1930.

I’m going to close with a quilt that looks more Autumnal, but which I think really conveys the Easter message.  This quilt was made in 1939 by Mary Gasperik, our 2021 Heritage Honoree who will be inducted in July. In her own words, this quilt is about a woman “trying to bear the trials of poverty inflicted upon her by the depression” who must stop and rest “to gather fresh courage to reach the ‘World of Tomorrow’…. The birds are singing songs of encouragement.  Beyond these mountains lies Recovery.”

Mary Gasperik. Road to Recovery.

And isn’t that an appropriate thought for us this year?  We’ve been through a lot with the pandemic, but we’re on the road to recovery and there’s hope for the future. There’s always hope for a new beginning at Easter-time.

Your quilting friend,


Grace Snyder: Making Quilts and Making Dreams Come True

Idle hands may be the Devil’s workshop, but Grace Snyder must have put him out of business.  The story of her life is told in an autobiography written with her daughter titled No Time on My Hands.  One reason she had no time was that she made over 300 quilts including one containing over 87,000 pieces! But Grace wasn’t busy all the time; she was a dreamer too. As a child she “… wished that (she) might grow up to make the most beautiful quilts in the world, to marry a cowboy, and to look down on the top of a cloud.”  If you count air travel for looking down on a cloud, her dreams all came true.  How many of us can say that?

At first glance, Grace Snyder’s life is unremarkable: the daughter of 1880s Nebraska homesteaders, she married a Nebraska rancher/cowboy (Bert), did some teaching, and raised four children. But she also made quite a few  remarkable quilts, and that’s what we’ll look at today. You can learn more about her story in the bio information on the Hall of Fame website and the Nebraska Quilters site (links below); the latter is an especially thorough presentation for a reason I’ll tell you about later. 

Let me start with some of Grace’s not-so-remarkable quilts—and when I say “not so remarkable”, it’s only in comparison with her others.  From her earliest days, Grace was taught to make small neat stitches, and every Snyder quilt displays her fantastic workmanship.  But some of her quilts are show-stopping designs and others are more personal.  These are the personal ones—the ones that reveal something significant to the maker. (You won’t be able to zoom in on these images, but you’ll find them in the expanded bio link and can view close ups there if you want.)

This one is a nice scrappy setting to showcase her husband’s love of fishing.  Grace, Bert and two of their daughters lived in Oregon for a while, and she quilted while he fished.  My husband is a sailor, and I made Storm at Sea and Lady of the Lake quilts. I also have a large sub-stash of nautical fabrics which I have barely diminished by making masks, aprons, and table runners. I can relate to tying your hobby to Hubby’s interest.
This quilt was from an Omaha World Herald pattern, but Grace personalized it by making the cowboy look like her husband and adding his nickname, “Pinnacle Jake”.

This quilt was made with fabric from one of Grace’s favorite childhood dresses. Not an unusual story, but here’s the Snyder twist: the dress was torn as she ducked through a barbed wire fence to escape a charging bull. 

Not every Grace Snyder quilt tells such personal stories.  Here are some that tell us the quilter could be conventional. I wish I could give you better shots of the quilting; I’ve put links below to their home sites where you can at least zoom in.

The Lincoln Quilt, International Quilt Museum

Snyder, Grace. Grape and Vine Applique. 1951. From University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Nebraska Quilt Project (Lincoln Quilters Guild). Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/fulldisplay.php?kid=57-90-6E2. Accessed: 09/12/2020

Snyder, Grace. McGills Cherries; Applique. 1945. From University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Nebraska Quilt Project (Lincoln Quilters Guild). Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/fulldisplay.php?kid=57-90-6E1. Accessed: 09/12/2020

Remember I mentioned show-stoppers? I think these last three would qualify, but (wait) there’s more.  Grace won quite a few ribbons in her day, having made 24 quilts expressly for exhibition or competition. In addition to honors at county and state fairs, in 1950 four of Grace’s quilts were displayed at the Women’s International Exhibition in New York City. “ https://chfn.org/fastered/prednisone-lethality/36/ industrial management question paper vtu management title thesis personal statement scholarship essay go to link https://themilitaryguide.org/14days/2-on-ap-euro-exam-essay/55/ thesis about love pdf can i take atenolol and viagra https://www.lapressclub.org/hypothesis/creative-writing-waterloo/29/ aricept valium side effects source link advantages of social networking sites essay cialis 20mg 12 st preisvergleich https://www.rmhc-reno.org/project/dinitrophenol-essay/25/ bridge description essay parts enter site go to link https://shilohchristian.org/buy/cheap-descriptive-essay-editing-site-for-school/54/ about red colour essay outline doxycycline staph infection go maths coursework mayfield high go here day essay typical work https://chfn.org/fastered/provames-clomid/36/ essay example yourself http://kanack.org/statement/thesis-abstract-nursing-education/26/ proposed thesis le cialis here Covered Wagon States” won a special ribbon in the International Division, and “Grape and Vine Applique” won a blue ribbon for its fine applique work. Her “Flower Basket Petit Point” and “The Bird of Paradise” were placed in a special division since there was nothing else like them at the exhibition. And there’s still more: Grace also has two quilts that were included among the 100 chosen for publication in The Twentieth Century’s Best American Quilts, and here they are:

This is a mosaic in the style of Albert Small (who made three hexagon quilts, the last one having pieces only 3/8 inch!).  Grace probably saw the design in a 1939s magazine, and she made up her own color scheme from a black and white photo included with the article.

Nebraska State Historical Society

Before it was one of the 100 Best, this quilt was the Sweepstakes winner at the 1944 Nebraska State Fair and earned Grace a prize of $2.50. You can’t really appreciate how detailed it is without seeing the video in the extended bio (link below.) The video starts off with some great close-up shots so you can see how she used half square triangles to create the look of needlework. Really, follow that link and play at least the first minute of the video. Wowza!

The State of Nebraska is justly proud of Grace Snyder, and Nebraskans make sure her legacy lives on. Her autobiography has been re-interpreted as a book for young readers, Pioneer Girl, which teachers throughout the state use in the required State History course.  The University of Nebraska has also developed study aids to keep Grace’s story alive because it’s the story of the state itself, a real life Prairie life. And of course there’s the presentation available at the extended bio link below. What other state has memorialized one of its quilters in this way?

That got me to thinking about who the famous or most-recognized quilters are in each state  I live in Illinois, and we have Bertha Stenge (I promise to write about her soon) and next year Mary Gasperik will be inducted.  Indiana has Marie Webster; California claims Yvonne Porcella and Jean Ray Laury; Nancy Crow put Ohio on the art quilting map. So, who is your state’s best or most notable quilter—current or historical? Is there one for every state? Is she or he in the Quilter’s Hall of Fame, or will you be making a nomination so your state won’t be left out?  If Grace Snyder’s story tells us anything, it’s that someone can be living a quotidian life, all the while making quilts and making her dreams come true. So, look around for people like her, and look at yourself to see if your dreams are coming true.

Bio information https://quiltershalloffame.net/grace-snyder/

Expanded bio http://nequilters.org/node/8

The Lincoln Quilt https://www.internationalquiltmuseum.org/quilt/20090320001

Grape and Vine Applique http://www.quiltindex.org/fulldisplay.php?kid=57-90-6E2

McGill’s Cherries http://www.quiltindex.org/fulldisplay.php?kid=57-90-6E1