Sunday, April 6, 2014

Tucson Quilt Documentation Project

On Saturday my hubby and I attended the Tucson Quilt Documentation Project.  Every November and April you can bring up to two quilts to be documented on a nationwide database.  Though you can bring some of your own work, I wanted to document two of my older family quilts.  It was a fun and interesting process!

This is a Jacob's Ladder variation called Footprints in the Sands of Time.  It was completely hand pieced and quilted, made of clothing scraps.  Since it has some polyester and wool in it as well as cotton and even silk it must have been a top that was pieced by my great grandmother and either my grandmother or my great aunt  some time in the 60s.  My mother then hand quilted it and gave it to me in 1975.  She wrote her initials and the date on the back corner.

This pattern was called Fifty-four Forty or Fight, and is an older quilt, the top hand pieced by my great-grandmother and great aunt , probably in the 30s based on the fabrics. My mother then quilted it and gave it to me also in the 70s.  This one is all cotton, and has some interesting triangles in the stars that were pieced from two different bolts of the same color green fabric.  One bolt completely faded, and the other bolt retained its color. 

Here are the ladies examining the first quilt.  Everything from history, to square size to quilting stitches per inch is recorded.  The information is then sent to Michigan State University (along with a photo) and is listed by number which can then be searched by anyone on the database.  It is a wonderful American history documentation project!

Here is a closeup of the Fifty-four Forty or Fight quilt, with its new label.  The labels are given to you to whip stitch on the back, and contains the number.

Close-up of the label.
I will be documenting many more quilts in the future, some old and some newer.  It took several hours, but was well worth it, and someday someone may look up one of my quilts on the database and learn something about quilt history in this country.  My great-grandmother, Emily Joella Pruett Butler, and her daughter Annie and my mother, Latane Barton will all be listed as quilters and their work can be seen.  That makes me feel great. 


  1. What a wonderful project; nice to know that these clever needlewomen are being noted and remembered. They are such practical works of art.

  2. That is the coolest thing, Marie. I am so happy you have those quilts and of course, you and Y. will get getting a couple more or so soon when I move. I know it was a tiring venture but so worth it. I bet you saw lots of interesting quilts there.

  3. I didn't know you had a quilt blog. Saw it on your mom's post.
    I think this is wonderful for you to do this with the quilts.

  4. You must mean the "100 ways to hide your stash" I have seen this and it is to funny.
    I have been trying to use mine up so I can buy new getting tired of same old same old.

  5. Scraps of fabric and little bits of history!! It's very beautiful!!

  6. What a great idea! Those are some wonderful quilts you took in to be documented.