A Quilt Mystery!


My mom-in-law had a quilt top among passed-down items tucked away in her home. When we helped her move to a smaller apartment, I asked her about it and she didn’t remember ever seeing it before. So I put it in a safe place and decided to try to solve the mystery someday. The time has come! The quilt has twelve muslin squares with embroidered names/designs and one square that says “HHC” (Happy Homemaker’s Club???) and the year 1927. First, I took a photo and checked with other family members to see if any of them recognized it or any of the names on it. Even though none of the names are relatives, I do have a lead as to a community where it may have originated so I’ll be starting there. My hope is that I can return it home, either to a quilt club or library, where it can be displayed—or the beautifully-embroidered squares can be detached and given to individual families–and, hopefully, find out the occasion for its creation, why the project was abandoned, and how it ended up where it did. Yes, I FINALLY get to carry out my fantasy of being Nancy Drew when I grow up! I’ll keep you posted! ♥

Quilt Tope


94 responses »

  1. “Anonymous” comment was me. Guess I didn’t sign in. Didn’t want to give you another mystery to solve. :). I wonder if Fannie Martin and Helen Martin are sisters or somehow related?

    • That’s what I thought, Anny . . . or maybe sisters-in-law? There are two other ladies with the same last name as well–Bertha Ringer and Nettie Ringer. Some of the names took a little deciphering because of the style/placement of the letters. But I love them all! 🙂

  2. Hi I’m relatively new to your BLog and had not posted before today.

    What a precious gift this would be to an individual, local guild, church or quilt group. Even more to their descendants of some of the individuals listed. Please be sure when you do pass it on that the individual plans to keep it in tact and, if they complete and quilt of have it quilted they will do it in such a way as to not diminish it’s value. Some vintage quilt tops are more valuable if they are NOT, finished as they can make a valuable “tool” to study. A museum, with a textile collection, may also be interested.

    I am a member of Prairie Quilt Guild in Kansas. I would suggest you contact your State Extension service, some of the churches in you area who may have quilt group in them and asked if anyone recognizes any of the names. FYI – in case you are not familiar with them The State extension service is associated with a State college. Such as in Kansas the Extension Service in various parts of the state are a part of Kansas University, in Lawrence KS.

    I wish you luck and

    • Linda, it’s so kind of you to send me all these tips! I grew up doing 4-H in Kansas, so I’ve spent a lot of time with amazing extension service ladies. 🙂 (I thought they were affiliated with K-State instead of KU, but I’ll double-check!) I hadn’t thought of using the State Extension as a resource, though–brilliant! And I love the idea of checking with churches as well as quilt groups and libraries. Thank you!!! 🙂

      • I meant to suggest that the HHC could be similar to what we called Home Demonstration Unit, and at another time Home Extension Unit. They were made up of women form the community that usually met on a monthly basis to share information related to crafts, hobbies and home making. We could take free, or low cost, classes at the Extension Office and then take the “class” info back to our individual Units. That is oone reason I thought of suggesting you contact the state University.

  3. What a lovely quilt. I would like to meet the ladies who made it, particularly the one who made the bunny with balloons. Keep us up to date with your findings. 🙂

  4. Beautiful quilt top. Can’t wait to hear how all your detective work will end. Hopefully you will find out all the info that you are looking for to get that beautiful piece where it needs to be. Good luck.

  5. Pingback: A Quilt Mystery: Part 2 | PILLOWS A-LA-MODE

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