Erica Corwin is the Electronic Marketing Coordinator at UNP.
Summer might be swimming and barbecue season for some people, but it’s garage sale season for me. Earlier this summer, I bought an envelope containing vintage quilt and crochet patterns without really looking through them. Whatever it included seemed like a good deal for $2.00.
I didn’t do anything with the patterns for a couple of months until I showed them to my co-worker, Amy. She discovered that the collection included an entire set of state flower and bird quilt square patterns that were published in the Omaha World-Herald from January 12, 1938 (Alabama) to December 7, 1938 (Wyoming). Nadine Bradley wrote the weekly Wednesday post and included a new pattern each week. I wonder if quilters actually finished a square before the next one was published. It would probably be possible to do that without today’s digital distractions. This project was their version of online gaming, leveling up each week!
I learned that the Omaha World-Herald published a series of patterns like this set each year throughout the 1930s. Quilters were encouraged to clip the patterns, make quilts, and enter them in competitions at local department stores where they could win furniture and other items that were especially useful during the Depression. Amy and I decided since we have every single pattern that our craft group should work on stitching our own quilt. It’s clear that Amy is a better embroiderer than I am; she actually finished her square.
This will be a work in progress for quite some time.
Some of the information I found on the Omaha World-Herald pattern publications came from one of our books: Nebraska Quilts and Quiltmakers, edited by Patricia Cox Crews and Ronald C. Naugle. The University of Nebraska Press also offers several other books that pertain to quilting:
By Janet Catherine Berlo
Edited by Marin F. Hanson and Patricia Cox Crews
By Grace Snyder and Nellie Snyder Yost