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Crossing the Prairies
I made quilts as fast as I could to keep my family warm, and as pretty as I could to keep my heart from breaking.
A pioneer woman’s diary
Quilt name: Wertman Family Appliqué
Thirty-one family names inscribed with inked stamps.
Pennsylvania, c. 1878
Old quilt patterns went west with the pioneers, and new ones were made and named for the milestones of the journey. Kansas Troubles, Road to California, and Oregon Trail are pattern names that reflect a growing nation and the diversity of the patchwork tradition. Cherished souvenirs of life in the East survived the trip west, especially signature quilts, since they symbolized ties to distant family and friends.
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