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Pieced Together: Researching, Creating and Preserving Your Story

A yearlong Jefferson College Library initiative to promote personal, family and local history projects and preservation.

The Quilts & Their Stories

Quilted floral images

Quilt Story: Life

This is part of a pair of quilts created by Natalie Welch in 2016 and was bought by her mother, Suzie Welch when Natalie tried to sell them on Facebook. All the fabric except for the binding was hand-dyed and appliqued with a variety of techniques learned during this course, including screen printing, repeat dyeing, and free-motion quilting. Natalie said, “it’s a diptych about life and death. If I remember correctly, we had just learned how to repeat dye a variety of fabrics and were instructed to use those swatches to make this pair of quilts.” Her favorite part about this set is finding the correlating shapes and colors between the life and death panels– appliqued worms, screen printed grass, and vivid purple dye. She said she’s glad her mom kept the quilts in the family.  Artist: Natalie Welch Circa 2016 Fabrics: Hand-dyed by artist Pattern: Modern Applique Techniques  Machine Pieced and Machine Quilted  On loan from Suzie Welch

Quilted scene of tree trunk

Quilt Story: Death

This is part of a pair of quilts created by Natalie Welch in 2016 and was bought by her mother, Suzie Welch when Natalie tried to sell them on Facebook. All the fabric except for the binding was hand-dyed and appliqued with a variety of techniques learned during this course, including screen printing, repeat dyeing, and free-motion quilting. Natalie said, “it’s a diptych about life and death. If I remember correctly, we had just learned how to repeat dye a variety of fabrics and were instructed to use those swatches to make this pair of quilts.” Her favorite part about this set is finding the correlating shapes and colors between the life and death panels– appliqued worms, screen printed grass, and vivid purple dye. She said she’s glad her mom kept the quilts in the family.  Artist: Natalie Welch Circa 2016 Fabrics: Hand-dyed by artist Pattern: Modern Applique Techniques  Machine Pieced and Machine Quilted  On loan from Suzie Welch

 

 

Quilted self portrait

Quilt Story: “Bedhead”

This quilt was created by Natalie Welch as the final project for her Fibers I class at Truman University, taught by Danielle Yakle in 2016. Natalie chose to create a second self-portrait as a continuation of her earlier assignment, and as a celebration of the changes and growth she’d experienced in the months since that project. She said, “when I designed this quilt, I was a junior in college and I had a fresh buzz cut because I’d just participated in St. Baldrick’s, (the challenge that raises money for cancer research). It was springtime, and my hair looked a little different each day as it grew, along with the grass, and along with me.” She designed the portrait using photo editing software like the previous project, but chose a much brighter color scheme and took a reference photo facing the camera. The background is a heavily modified and simplified version of a large crazy quilt block and is meant to reference, she says, “rays of sunshine”. Artist: Natalie Welch Circa 2016 Fabrics: Hand-dyed by artist Pattern: Modern Applique Techniques  Machine Pieced and Machine Quilted  On loan from Natalie Welch

 

Quilted tree

Quilt Story: Tree of Life

According to her family, this quilt was Jane Houser's most ambitious undertaking as a quilter. The tree of life symbol is ancient and can be found in religion, cosmology, mythology, science, and genealogy as a way to represent the complexities and the connections found throughout the natural world and the ways we make sense of it. It is a perfect way to represent many of the interests that Houser had throughout her life in Jefferson County.  Artist: Jane Houser Circa 2001 Fabrics: Cotton Pattern: Tree of Life Techniques • Hand Appliqued & Hand Quilted On loan from Carrie Greer

quilt with names, places, and passions

Quilt Story: Signature: "What's Your Passion?"

As Jefferson College’s first non-traditional student, Jane Houser, mother of four, knew what she wanted to be. She wanted to be a librarian. So, in addition to her classwork and her many responsibilities at home, Jane worked in the library. Unfortunately, Mrs. Houser could not relocate to Columbia, Missouri to attend the state’s only graduate program for librarianship, so she switched her major to history and attended UMSL. She never lost her love of books, history, art and craft. This quilt brings together many aspects of her interests and her personality. She was endlessly curious, interested in the places and people around her, friendly, and she always had a creative project in the works. Everywhere she went Jane Houser would ask friends, family, and people she may have just met about their passions and get their signatures for her own version of an autograph, friendship, album or memory quilt.  Jefferson County.  Artist: Jane Houser  Pattern: Crazy Quilt Techniques: Machine Pieced & Hand Quilted On loan from Carrie Greer

Quilt Story: Bible Stories

This quilt was made for Deborah Verstringhe by her great-aunt Louise Raff. Louise Raff lived modestly throughout her life, often without modern conveniences such as indoor plumbing. She was an avid reader, gardener, and quilter. Much of her small cabin was taken up with books and her quilting supplies. Louise Raff made dozens of beautiful quilts throughout her life, approximately five to six quilts per year, many of which now belong to her great-niece. This quilt featuring scenes from the Bible is a wonderful example of an instructive quilt. However, Deborah said that she was never allowed to touch it and very seldom allowed to even look at it. Scenes depicted include the Egyptians in the Red Sea, Adam Naming the Animal, Jacob’s Ladder, Belshazzar’s Feast and more. It was made using a pattern and instructions obtained by mail.  Artist: Louise Raff  Pattern: Bible Stories Techniques: Machine Pieced and Machine and Hand Quilted and Appliquéd On loan from Deboarh Veristringhe

Mixed fabrics and embroidered stiches

Quilt Story: Small Crazy Quilt

There are several examples of crazy quilts in our small exhibit. This one is the smallest example and could be used as a wall hanging, doll quilt, or tabletop decoration. It is not clear if Jane Houser was inspired to make this after purchasing a full-sized crazy quilt made in the late 19th century. Houser found that quilt in New York while on vacation  and was impressed with the quality of the piece. It is evident that Houser combined her love of history and research and her love of craft to learn about the various quilting traditions, many of which had waned in popularity for over a hundred years, because she recreated her own examples of these traditions. Through the exhibition you will find examples of a signature quilt, "redwork", tradition patterns and this small example of a crazy quilt.. Jefferson County.  Artist: Jane Houser  Pattern: Crazy Quilt Techniques:Machine Pieced & Hand Embroidered On loan from Carrie Greer

quilt with embroidered scenes of Jefferson County

Quilt Story: Jefferson County, Missouri

According to her daughter, Barb Flesh, this quilt illustrates many of the things that were most important to her mother Dolores “Jane” (Jackson) Houser: place, history, preservation, and craft. Jane Houser and her husband Brant moved to Jefferson County in 1951. Brant shared his wife’s love of craft, and he would go on to build four family homes in Jefferson County over the years. Both Housers had a love of the rural spaces and historic buildings they found in the county—they were saddened to see some of them being torn down or falling into disrepair. Jane captured many of these structures in her photography and paintings. In this example of “redwork” she has captured some of her favorite places in Jefferson County in a quilt. Artist: Jane Houser  Pattern: Redwork Techniques:Machine Pieced & Hand Embroidered On loan from Carrie Greer

double wedding ring quilt

Quilt Story: Double Wedding Ring

This quilt was made by Dorothea Minnea Steinbach Linhorst [1900-1970]. She married dairy farmer Edward John Linhorst [1893-1978]. In addition to the farm duties she shared with her husband, Mrs. Linhorst was a life-long quilter. Her quilts were largely of patchwork designs, hand-sewn and hand-quilted. If she was not trying out a new quilt layout, her standby designs were blocked quilts and the double wedding ring pattern. According to her granddaughter Shirley Leonard, Mr. Linhorst made his wife an quilting frame that allowed for the creation of symmetrical designs and a frame that held the materials in place during quilting.... Shirley says “My mother and I continue to use this quilting frame to this day.”

Shirley continues “Having lived through both World Wars and the Great Depression, her quilts were always made from leftover remnants from her dresses, my mother’s dresses, as well as mine. I can remember the fun sitting with my Grandma and Mother as we would go over the quilts recalling whose dresses was which pieces of remnant.  This particular double wedding ring quilt was, what she would call, an everyday quilt…this quilt having seen much use over the years. Her “good” quilts only came out on special occasions or on Sunday’s if company was coming

Artist: Dorothea Minnea Steinbach Linhorst Pattern: Double Wedding Ring  Techniques:Hand Pieced & Hand Quilted On loan from Shirley Leonard

quilt with butterflies

Quilt Story: Butterfly

"This quilt was made by my great-grandmother Clara AuBuchon. She and my great grandfather Jasper AuBuchon were both born in French Village, MO to French speaking parents in the late 1800’s.   Clara hand sewed and hand quilted this quilt, including the appliqués. We estimate that she made this quilt between 1930 – 1940.  It is one of three quilts we have in our family that were made by my great  grandmother.

            When I look at each of those neat and even hand-stitches, I think about the hand eye- coordination it takes.  I think about her hands creating those stitches and in an odd way makes me feel close to her even though she died before my birth.  Quilting really created a sense of community for many and has a deep history in American culture.  I picture my great grandmother sewing side-by-side with other women in her community, and I wonder if she felt the same mindfulness and wholeness I feel when I am sewing.  I am sure she would be proud that my grandmother taught me to sew, and that I continue to enjoy sewing as much as my ancestors did.” ~ Vivian AuBuchon Artist: Clara AuBuchon Pattern: Crazy Quilt Techniques:Hand Pieced, Hand Quilted & Hand Appliqauéd On loan from Vivian Aubuchon

crazy quilt

Quilt Story: Wedding Gift

This quilt was created by Annie Black of Wilmington NC as a wedding gift for her granddaughter Kimberly Garzia. The four corner blocks were originally created as sample pieces by Mrs. Garzia’s Great Grandmother.  Mrs. Black used those corner pieces to inspire the rest of the quilt.  She also incorporated fabric pieces into the blocks in the shape of the bride’s home state of North Carolina and the groom’s home state of Missouri.  The bride has family in South Carolina and California and those states are also represented in the pieces.  Mrs. Black included a small piece of camouflage fabric to represent the bride’s history of hunting and outdoorsmanship as well as the groom’s military service. Kim said, “This surprise wedding gift means a lot me because she took the time to represent two families coming together in this quilt.” Artist: Annie Black• Pattern: Crazy Quilt • Techniques: Machine Pieced & Quilted  On loan from Kim Garzia

1880s crazy quilt

Crazy quilts are made by stitching irregular fabric patches together, either by appliqué or patchwork (piecing). Usually the patches are stitched to a fabric or paper foundation. Fabrics vary from cottons and wools to silks, brocades, and velvets, the latter known as “fancies.” The finished top is often enhanced with embroidery, beading, and other embellishments. Crazies are usually tied instead of quilted to stabilize the layers.

Crazy quilting’s origins are uncertain. Sixteenth-century Japanese kirihame kimonos include crazy piecing. An 1839 cotton crazy-pieced Kaleidoscope quilt is owned by the Maryland Historical Society; like other early cotton crazies, including an 1872 example in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it features little or no embroidery.

At Philadelphia’s Centennial Exposition in 1876, American needleworkers were intrigued by the designs and techniques of handicrafts from Japan, Russia, and England. The Japanese fashion of deliberately “crazing,” or crackling, porcelain glazes was particularly influential. By 1884, thousands of lavishly embroidered silk and velvet crazy quilts had appeared, encouraged by popular magazines marketing everything from patterns to fabric scraps. Although the fad had largely subsided by 1895, crazies still appeared, particularly in wool or in cotton as utility quilts—the irregular patches enabled frugal women to use every scrap of fabric. The embellished fancy-fabric crazy quilt experienced a resurgence in the 1980s and l990s, thanks to teachers like Judith Montano and groups like the Crazy Quilt Society and to a renewed interest in embroidery and embellishments. Crazy quilts are often commemorative or memory pieces.

Source:  "Crazy quilt." Cindy Joan Brick. Britannica Academic, Encyclopædia Britannica, 1 Jul. 2004. academic.eb.com/levels/collegiate/article/crazy-quilt/343063. Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.