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Quilts From St. David, Arizona

The late Mrs. Lula Edge of St. David, Arizona, with a quilt she and her granddaughter had made the previous summer. April, 1980
The late Mrs. Lula Edge of St. David, Arizona, with a quilt she and her
granddaughter had made the previous summer. April, 1980
[image courtesy of James S. Griffith]

The purpose of this quilt was to teach the teenaged granddaughter how to piece and quilt. This quilt, therefore, constitutes physical evidence of the transmission of a valued family tradition. Quilts may have overall or repeated patterns; this one is of an overall, "Lone Star" pattern.

A "Log Cabin" pattern quilt made by Mrs. Lilly Lindly of St. David, Arizona, April, 1980
A "Log Cabin" pattern quilt made by Mrs. Lilly Lindly of
St. David, Arizona, April, 1980
[image courtesy of James S. Griffith]

This is a good example of a quilt with repeated pattern. Each square adhered to the same general pattern of concentric strips. As is often the case in Anglo-American quilting, the colors are light but muted. In this case, the pattern has been made more complex by arranging the squares in such a way that an overall pattern of light and dark diagonals is formed. Some quilters call this the "Straight Furrow" variation of the "Log Cabin" pattern.

The very names of many of the patterns, harking back to an idealized rural America, inject a set of nostalgic values into much Anglo-American quilting.

Detail of a "Friendship Quilt" in the possession of Mrs. Lindly of St. David, Arizona, April, 1980
Detail of a "Friendship Quilt" in the possession of
Mrs. Lindly of St. David, Arizona, April, 1980
[image courtesy of James S. Griffith]

This was made by members of Mrs. Lindly's quilting circle in Bisbee, Arizona, on the occasion of her departure for St. David. Each woman cut and stitched a square, and embroidered her name in it. Aside from the names, the squares are identical. The double-lozenge quilting pattern has a name as well; it is the "Jerusalem Chain." Friendship quilts are common in many communities, and allow the quilt to provide sentimental as well as physical warmth.

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