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
  • 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.
91  Walk Around the Block
c.1930's-1940's (quilted and backed in the early 1960's
antique fabrics, cotton
Condition: good with some spots and a loose seam on one square
67 x 72
Town: New Hamburg
Probably made by Barbara Roth; quilted and backed by her and Georgina Freed

"The quilt top was done, I beleive, by the wife of our Mennonite pastor, Mrs Barbara Roth of New Hamburg, Ontario in the late 1930's early 1940's. She also provided the material for the backing when she and I quilted it in the early 1960's. When it was finished she gave it to me. She was also at the time teaching me to quilt. So this is actually one of the first quilts I worked on myself though I've done many since then." (Georgina Freed)

Georgina Freed was born in the area in the 1930's, and was a member of a Mennonite church there. For other quilts by her please see 92, 93, and 94
92  Nine (small) Patches within a larger Nine Patch
c. 1930's-40's(?), maker quilted and backed c.1960
from family vintage quilt top
Condition: unused
8 2 x 83
Town: completed in New Hamburg
Backed and quilted by Georgina Freed

Georgina Freed was born in the area in the 1930's, and was a member of a Mennonite church there. For other quilts by her please see 91, 93, and 94
93  Nine Patch with Hearts
1959
all cotton vintage fabrics, a light loft batton, back is cotton muslin (she believes earlier date than quilted top), printed border is feed sack
Condition: never used but with a light stain
38 x 47 (baby quilt)
Town: New Hamburg
Made by Georgina Freed

"expecting a girl. but a beautiful baby boy arrived instead. Everything is hand done, vintage fabric, well quilted, and never been used, in great shape."


But on the quilt a sewed in tag with, "Georgina Freed, Old 9 Patch, Pieced 1930, Quilted 1987"


Georgina Freed was born in the area in the 1930's, and was a member of a Mennonite church there. For other quilts by her please see 91, 92, and 94
94  Nine Patch
c.1950 (top), 1961-62 (backed, batton put in, and ties put on)
"scrap quilt": all cotton fabrics made from left over apron and dress fabric, etc.; light soft batton inside; looks like flannel but a plaid cotton
Condition: never used, excellent
41 x 51
Town: New Hamburg area
Made by Anna Moyer (backed and tied by Georgina Freed)

Anna Moyer is a woman of a Conservative Mennonite church

"not quilted, but tied with red knots something like a comforter would be. It is not heavy as it has a light loft batton inside. It is bright and pleasant for a baby. ... good warm cover for a chilly night." (Georgina Freed)

Georgina Freed was born in the area in the 1930's, and was a member of a Conservative Mennonite church there. For other quilts by her please see 91, 92, and 93
95  Trip Around the World
c.1960's-70's
Condition: fine with no apparent stains or tears; appears never to have been washed
76 x 81
Town: estate auction at the St. Jacob's Community Center in St. Jacobs
Maker: unknown
.

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