Sales Receipt for 5 Assorted Appliqué Quilt Blocks for $50.00 dated 1925

By Emily Whitted, WPAMC Class of 2020

Catching a historical object in a state of incompleteness is rare: it seems counter-intuitive to preserve something that technically isn’t finished, especially when its original maker isn’t around to complete it. When trying to determine which object in Winterthur’s collection I should choose to spend serious quality time with during my first fall, I paused at a set of five unfinished appliqué quilt squares from the mid 1800s, three of which are signed by their makers. I was immediately attracted to their state of unfinishedness. Who were the women who made them, and why didn’t they find their way into a finished quilt?

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