QUILT HISTORY STORIES
Friendship Knot - A Pieced Quilt with 25 Signatures
Arene Burgess, Illinois
Who was Mrs. Ida A. Suits and what was the Hickory Grove Country Life Club? I have been trying, unsuccessfully, to learn the origins of this quilt and the maker since 1989 when it came into my possession.
I purchased this signature quilt from an Alton, Illinois woman who said she bought it at an estate sale of a Litchfield, Illinois doctor. Did the doctor take this quilt in payment for services? Did he or his wife win it in a raffle? Was it a retirement or appreciation gift?
The pattern is called Friendship Knot or Starry Crown (See the Collector’s Dictionary of Quilt Names and Patterns by Yvonne M. Khim, page 310.)
The names of the 25 people who signed this quilt are listed below. Mrs. Suits signed, dated, and identified herself as the maker. Did she make the top and quilt it alone or did she have help? A check through local telephone directories lists no Suits. This quilt has been displayed three times at local shows, but no one has come forward with any information.
Was the Hickory Grove Country Life Club one of a group of local clubs affiliated with an organization such as The Royal Neighbors, or the Modern Woodman? Did the Grange (a farmer’s organization founded in 1867) sponsor local clubs?
It is obvious that this quilt was made with a combination of purchased fabrics and scraps. This would indicate the quilt was planned as a raffle or fundraiser and the signatures were not just an afterthought.
I realize 74 years is a long time, but my hope is that someone will recognize all or one of these names and contact me with further information about the Hickory Grove Country Life Club or Mrs. Ida A. Suits or one of the following ladies/gentlemen listed below:
Names Embroidered on the Friendship Knot
O.(?) L. Whitlock
Mary Rosna Jett
John N. Suits
Ida A. Suits (Maker of the quilt)
Dennis (?) Priddle
If you have any additional information, recognize a name, or are related to anyone on this list, please contact me at my email address: Arene Burgess CBur305325@aol.com or contact Susan Wildemuth firstname.lastname@example.org and she will put you in contact with me. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated and would forward my research -- Thank you!
Additional Information Surfaces (Needs Primary Source Verification)
Ida Suits - Litchfield, Illinois
Birth Date: February 6, 1885
Death Date: June 1973
Husband's Name: Richard (69 in 1930) Ida (45 in 1930)
Husband's Occupation: Farmer
Children (1930 Census)