Susan B.’s Quilt Comes Home

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quilters at frame resizeThe Legler Barn Stitchers (pictured on this post) of Lenexa, Kansas were an excellent choice to complete the replica of Susan B.’s quilt. They had plenty of experience and provided a living history display as they quilted in the historic structure. Built in 1864, the Legler Barn

was built on the Santa Fe Trail that started in Missouri and meandered on through Leavenworth, a frontier town where Susan often visited her brother Daniel.

The thousands of tiny stitches they used to join the top to its backing are testament to their own attention to detail and the artistry of 15 year-old Susan. In traditional fashion, they stretched the quilt on a frame make it easier to reach every inch and to keep their stitches taut.

On February 15, 2014 the completed project “came home” to Massachusetts and now has pride of place in the room where Susan B. was born (in what is now the Birthplace Museum). In similar fashion, two lovely replica quilts done by the Genesee Valley Quilters of Rochester decorate the upstairs rooms at the Susan B. Anthony House. As you look at the photo below, keep in mind that the fluorescent light gave a dark cast to the navy blue diamonds and floral print.

Replica of Susan B.'s quilt showing fine stitching. Photo by Jeanne Gehret

Replica of Susan B.’s quilt showing fine stitching. Photo by Jeanne Gehret

As a footnote, Susan continued to quilt long after she became an adult. In the early and mid-nineteenth century, women seldom participated in discourse at town meetings. Knowing this, Susan often took her early reform message to quilting bees where women could speak freely. In addition, it’s likely that she contributed handcrafted items to raffles to support antislavery and temperance speakers.

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