Recently, I’ve begun researching fundraising quilts. Many typical fundraising quilts have names stitched or inked all over the front. This quilt, however, is quite unique and I thought I would share it with you.
This beautiful crazy quilt was a fundraiser for the Ladies Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Filley, Nebraska. Members of the group were responsible for securing as many names as possible at ten cents per name. Instead of putting the names on the front, the fundraiser’s name was displayed on the front and those contributing 10 cents each had their names put on the back. The woman who acquired the most names got to put the quilt together and keep it.
The lucky woman that acquired the most names was Kate Williams Filley. The fundraising effort coincided with the Filleys’ wedding and subsequent trip to the Chicago World’s Fair and to the east. Mrs. Filley collected names wherever they visited and thus was able to collect the most names for the quilt. She cut strips of fabric to a size that would fit into a typewriter and typed the names on the fabric. The strips were joined together to form the backing.
Do you have a Nebraska fundraising quilt with an interesting story? I’d love to hear from you.
-Laura Mooney, Senior Museum Curator