Description of Collection

Historical Comment

One Family's Quilts

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MENNONITE QUILTS OF WATERLOO COUNTY -- A CATALOGUE OF THE COLLECTION

  • Please click on images below to see larger images and, in some cases, details.
  • All the quilts are from Waterloo County, Ontario, Canada (please click here for a map of the region)
  • Descriptions in italics are from the sellers or from the curator of the People's Place Museum in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
  • It is very difficult to get accurate images of quilts. Color, tone, and brightness in the images below are "estimates." We have tried not to exaggerate the artistic beauty of the quilts. But, to see them in person is to get a very different experience. In many cases it is a more powerful experience. In other cases it may not be as impressive. In all cases, it is a very different kind of experience.
  • Most of the quilts were originally purchased from family estate sales. The towns given below are the towns where the sales occurred. Most of the families had been living on their farmsteads for decades before the estate sales.
  • We are not quilters and have not tried to describe quilting techniques or stitching.
  • We have found that titles vary from person to person. The titles below were given to us and should not be taken as gospel. "Unknown Pattern" means unknown to us.
  • The information below is accurate to the best of our knowledge. Where possible we have cross-checked information from different sources. Please note that, in the few cases where there is any doubt that a quilt is Mennonite, we have noted this in italics.

16  Trip Around the World / Sunshine and Shadow
c.1920
cottons, sateen
78 x 78
Condition: never used, 1 brown spot in white square; "some strange squares that would appear to be out of place but all original; no restoration"
Town: near Three Bridges
Made by Mrs. Lovina Bowman

"somewhat heavier weight"

the "odd" square seems to illustrate the principle that "Only God is perfect."

17  Sawtooth Diamond
c.1930's
cottons
Condition: unused
70 x 82
Town: near Alma
Maker: unknown; from the family of Clifford and Seleda Martin

"a design exclusive to Waterloo County, usually in odd pastel colours"

18  Nine Patch
c.1930 with some older fabrics
cottons
Condition: crisp, unused
76 x 84
Town: St. Jacob's
Made by Leah Martin or her sister

"one of a pair made by Leah Martin and her sister – mother (Lydia) made her daughters hand piece this and (number 28)"

(for the work of Lydia Martin and her family, please see also 3,
19, 28, 32, 45, 52, 57)

-- please see One Family's Quilts

19  Crown of Thorns
c.1910
crepes, cottons, flannel backing
Condition: excellent with small moth hole
68 x 78
Town: St. Jacob's
Maker: unknown; from Lydia Martin and probably by her mother or grandmother

"nice weight and feel; unusual border arrangement"

(for the work of Lydia Martin and her family, please see also 3, 18, 28, 32, 45, 52, 57)

-- please see One Family's Quilts

20  Nine Patch
c.1910-20
cottons
Condition: pleasantly used
63 x 80
Town: near Wallenstein
Maker: unknown; from Mr. George Horst

21  Nine Patch Chain
c.1910
cottons, border is polished cotton
Condition: crisp, unused with one small brown spot
63 x 80
Town: near Elmira
Maker: unknown; from Levi Martin, Sr.

 

22  Trip Around the World
c.1930-40
cottons, flanelette backing
Condition: good used
71 x 83
Town: Elmira
Maker: unknown; from Joseph Metzger

heavy-weight; upper and lower borders don't match

23  Eight Point Star and Nine Patch
c.1920-30
crepes, cottons
Condition: minor weak spots in border, else good condition
70 x 76
Town: unknown
Maker: unknown

from the same source as number 42

24  Eight Point Star Variation
c.1900-10
cottons
Condition: good, crisp
72 x 84
Town: unknown
Maker: unknown; from the family of Jeremiah Martin

25  Nine Patch Variation
c.1920
cottons
Condition: mint, crisp
76.5 x 81
Town: presumably near Wallenstein
Maker: Mrs. Joe Brubacher(?); from the farm auction of George Horst near Wallenstein; consigned to auction by Mrs. Joe Brubacher

“Orderly and balanced, this quilt employs the three primary colors in tones that are bright and well-matched. Even the size of the prints in the four fabrics fit the overall scale of the quilt.
“The left and right sides include an extra blue outer border, perhaps to make sure the quilt adequately covered the bed.
“Single rows of diagonal quilting are spaced across the pieced blocks. Scallops range through the four borders. The quilting was done in white thread.”
(Phyllis Pellman Good)

26  Unknown Pattern (variation of Bear's Paw)
c.1920
cottons
Condition: mint, crisp
77 x 92.5
Town: presumably near Wallenstein
Maker: Mrs. Joe Brubacher(?); from the farm auction of George Horst near Wallenstein; consigned to auction by Mrs. Joe Brubacher
27  Bachelor's Puzzle or Indiana Puzzle (?)
c.1920-30
richly colored and subtley toned sateens, crepes, nice flannel as backing
Condition: good used with a few small holes, a small spot, and a few old, expert repairs
74 x 79
Town: unknown
Maker: unknown
28   Nine Patch
c.1930 with some older fabrics
cottons
Condition: crisp, unused with a few small spots
71 x 80
Town: St. Jacob's
Made by Leah Martin or her sister

"one of a pair made by Leah Martin and her sister – mother (Lydia) made her daughters hand piece this and (number 18)"

(for the work of Lydia Martin and her family, please see also 3,
18, 19, 32, 45, 52, 57)

-- please see One Family's Quilts

29  Trip Around the World / Star variation
c.1900-10
cottons
Condition: good used
33 x 40 (a crib quilt)
Town: unknown
Maker: unknown

"An unusual pattern made primarily by Mennonites in Ontario and Pennsylvania. Rare to find in a crib quilt."

30  Pinwheel
c.1920
cottons
Condition: good used with a small water spot, nice feel
75 x 79
Town: Elmira
Maker: unknown; from Joseph Metzger; Elmira

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