Ladies’ Legacy celebrates a dynamic alliance in New York City in the 1860s. Period prints are drawn from a quilt stitched for a Union soldier's hospital bed but never delivered. Each calico recalls a volunteer who spent the war years in the Woman's Central Relief offices, keeping accounts of donations, shipping crates and barrels to hospitals, quilting in the attic and firing up the patriotic public to donate 34,000 quilts and blankets sent out from their Greenwich Village office.
Our inspiration quilt, narrow to fit a patient's bed, is signed "School of Design, Engraving Class, Cooper Union" indicating it was made by women learning to be magazine illustrators in the art school, still thriving today. Engraving teacher Miss Field encouraged the ladies to spend each afternoon stitching bedquilts to send down to the soldiers' relief agency on the school's first floor. One of only about 20 survivors of the thousands of quilts made to comfort soldiers, the sampler's fabrics provide traditional design for our Reproduction scrapbags.
This collection will benefit the Quilt Research Center at the University of Nebraska Libraries Special Collection.