When we saw the Sum of Many Parts exhibit last January, we also saw the Iowa Sesquicentennial Quilt on display at the State Historical Society. I don’t believe I’d ever seen it before. The log cabin border is stunning, and the quilting is great:
Iowa became a state in 1846, the Sesquicentennial (150 years) was celebrated in 1996. Each of the 99 counties submitted a block in the shape and scale of their county. Some are embroidered, some appliqued, some just drawn or inked on:
Polk County is where Des Moines is located (orange block with star on it) and we have a beautiful state capitol building which is in the center of the block. Madison County is famous for its covered bridges…
The one with the John Deere logo is where I grew up, Black Hawk County, home of John Deere Tractor Works and the University of Northern Iowa and named for Sauk war chief Black Hawk.
This little quilted heart on the Iowa County block is very small, but it really stands out. The hand embroidered sites in the Keokuk County block impressed me as well:
The background quilting is full a different motifs, corn stalks, stars, banners, eagles, wild roses (our state flower), a goldfinch (the state bird)…
I was glad we got to see this, I’m not sure if it is on a semi-permanent display or not. But we both enjoyed looking it over for little details and surprises.
Happy Birthday to my big brother, Steve, today!