Family Stories

Schuyler County, Illinois – Quilt Show

Schuyler County, Illinois – The Rushville Times Newspaper

April 20, 1932

Quilt Show Brought Out Many Family Heirlooms

A quilt and rug show, sponsored by the First Division of the W. F. M. S. held in the Methodist Church parlors Friday afternoon, created a vast amount of interest with quilts of every design and material exhibit, the number far exceeding the one hundred mark.

Included in the display were quilts of worsted, silk and fancy cotton materials, in charming and intricate design, all of which portrayed exquisite handiwork, both in piecing and quilting.

Among the scores of quilts on exhibit were those of the “Grandmother’s Flower Garden” and “Wedding Ring” designs, both of which were so popular in Rushville and vicinity during the past year.

Two exhibitors, Mrs. Sarah Robbins and Mrs. R. W. Noble, each produced eight beautiful quilts, which was the largest exhibit by any one individual.  Several other ladies had on exhibit more than one quilt, but inasmuch as all were things of rare beauty it is impossible to do justice to the exhibitors in a brief description.

The antique quilts on exhibit truly portrayed the exquisite handicraft, talent and patience with which ancestral grandmothers were endowed in the early pioneer days.  These heirlooms that have been passed down for several generations have an intrinsic value to their owners that cannot be measured in dollars and cents.

Among the oldest quilts and counterpanes to be exhibited were the following:  A red and green applique quilt of tulip design owned by Mrs. Ernest Hill, which was pieced by her mother, Mrs. Eliza McMaster-Greer, more than eighty years ago when she was a young girl residing on the McMaster homestead, now occupied by Mrs. Robert Malcomson, four miles east of Rushville.  The quilting was done by Eliza McMaster and the Campbell sisters.

Miss Alta Carty had on exhibit a beautiful quilt and candlewick tufted bedspread made by her mother, the late Mrs. William Carty, perhaps more than seventy years ago.

Mrs. J. T. Bartlow’s exhibit was a quilt of the basket design, pieced and quilted by her deceased sister, Margaret Hightower, seventy-five years ago.

Three quilts, the exhibit of Mrs. G. H. Scripps, have long been in her family.  One of them was pieced by her grandmother, Mrs. Hamilton, of Jacksonville, seventy years ago, and another fashioned from silk and velvet, was pieced by her aunt, the late Miss Susan Chenery, of Springfield, more than fifty years ago.

A quilt belonging to Mrs. W. G. Babcock, pieced by her grandmother, Mrs. Helen Owen, an early pioneer woman of Rushville, has been in the family for almost a century.

Mrs. Grace Hemphill displayed a number of beautiful antique quilts.  They had been fashioned by the late Mrs. Sarah Owen-Houston, who was highly talented in needlecraft.

Mrs. Henry Reeve exhibited two quilts of beautiful workmanship, pieced by Mrs. Jane Reeves, mother of her deceased husband, more than sixty years ago.

Two interesting antique exhibits were handmade counterpanes.  One of them, owned by Miss Carrie R. Sparks, was a colored counterpane that has passed the century mark and was fashioned from wool grown on sheep owned by her grandfather, Lemuel Sparks, in early pioneer days.  His wife and daughters performed the task of carding, spinning and dyeing the wool that was transformed by the weaver’s loom into this red and white article of beautiful design.

Mrs. George E. Greer displayed a beautiful red and blue homemade counterpane of the Eagle design that was more than thirty years of age when it came into her possession fifty years ago.

There were also many beautiful handmade rugs of beautiful braided, crocheted and hooked design.  Among this number was a beautiful hooked rug specimen made and owned by Mrs. Beulah Price, of Astoria, who has refused the sum of $150 for this rug.

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