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.
61  Log Cabin
probably c.1940's
cottons
Condition: tears and fraying on four or five strips otherwise very good to fine
80 x 95
Town: St. Jacob's
Maker unknown; from estate of Isaiah B. Martin

62  Crazy Quilt
dated 1910, border and backing probably from the 1950's
satins, cottons, backing is soft cotton chintz style
Condition: good and clean with one worn or ripped patch
62 x 79
Town: Kitchener
Maker: a member of the Shantz family

Same maker and estate as number 65
63  Unknown Pattern with Sawtooth borders
probably c.1920's-30's
plaid lining material
Condition: good and sound except for some minor moth holes here and there and a little minor localised wear
70 x 83
Town: near Hawkesville
Maker unknown; from the estate of Mathias Martin

"It is in an unusual pattern exclusively used ( in my experience) by Waterloo County Mennonites. It is basically in sound condition and I believe that the minor bit of damage is forgivable for such an unusual quilt."
64  Sunshine and Shadow (with the squares arranged to form a large Eight Point Star)
c.1930's
wools and cottons
Condition: good (border englarged many years ago. It originally would have had just the single dark wine red border and a blue binding. The binding has been opened up and a second dark wine red border added to enlarge the size. It was not bound but had the edges of the new border and extra lining material turned in and sewn by machine. It does not detract from the appearance of the quilt.)
74.5 x 80
Town: Three Bridges
Maker unknown; from the family of Amsey Weber

65  Crazy Quilt
probably c.1910
satins, cottons, back is flannelette with children's scenes
Condition: good and clean (though back may need cleaning)
59 x 75
Town: Kirchener
Maker: member of the Shantz family

This quilt is knotted to hold it together (front to back) not quilted and no backing.

Same maker and estate as number 62

66  Log Cabin - Barn Raising (with Chevron border)
c.1910
various materials
Condition: some wear and moth holes
66 x 81.5
Town: Hawksville
Maker: Angela Martin

Old Order Mennonite

67  Diamond and Squares
given as between and 1905-20
cottons
Condition: good used
69 x 79
Town: near St. Jacob's
Maker unknown but owned by the grand-daughter of a Brubacher; the grand-daughter was named "Martin" and she passed it down to her daughter who's married name was "Eby". She in turn apparently passed it on to her daughter-in-law who was another Martin.

signed with initial "J"

This Brubacher family originally settled in Waterloo County some time between 1850 and 1860

68  Unknown Pattern
probably c.1940's
cottons
Condition: good used
20 x 30 (baby or doll's quilt)
Town: just north of Elmira
Maker: unknown

"... the couple were retiring from the farm and moving into a retirement home in town. Since they still make their own clothes, quilts etc. I would say this was made by them."

69  Dolls
c.1940's-50's
cottons
Condition: good used, three of the blue people's top pant stitching (about 1") is starting to come out, a couple of extremely small rust stains on the back
33 x 41 (baby or doll's quilt)
Town: near St. Jacob's
Maker unknown; from Amsey Weber
.

70  Log Cabin Sunshine & Shadow (with Sawtooth border)
c.1920
silks, cottons, wools, etc.
Condition: fine with some expert repairs and some small fraying on a few strips
74 x 80
Town: Winterbourne
Maker: unknown, from a Martin family but unclear which one
71  Four Patch Irish Chain Variation
early 1920's
cottons
Condition: very good; a spot or tears
63 x 70.5
Town: St. Jacob's
Maker: unknown

72  Trip Around the World
probably c.1920's-30's
silks, cottons, crepes
Condition: well-used with some bleeding and fading, but no serious holes, wear, or damage
66.5 x 78
Town: Floradale
Maker unknown, from the estate of Lydia Webber

73   Eight Point Star -- Nine Patch
probably c.1920's-30's
cotton calicoes
Condition: very fine (slight soiling)
77 x 84
From: Floradale 
Maker unknown, from the estate of Lydia Webber
74  Unknown Pattern
c.1930's-40's
cotton calicoes
Condition: near mint
63 x 71
Town: near Winterbourne
Maker: unknown
75  Four Patch
late nineteenth century
cottons, backing is a blue check woven indigo
Condition: very good with some minor fraying at the binding along the edge
72 x 83
Town: Wallenstein
Maker was the grandmother of Leonard Bauman


"with interesting old fabrics"

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