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Pioneer Quilts: Prairie Settlers' Life in Fabric

Pioneer Quilts: Prairie Settlers' Life in Fabric

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Pioneer Quilts: Prairie Settlers' Life in Fabric

198 pagine
46 minuti
Jul 1, 2017


Discover the history and culture of America’s pioneers chronicled in quilts and learn how to create your own inspired designs.

Join fictional character Esther Heinzmann as she narrates the journey through authentic, pioneer-era creations from the Poos Collection—each featured in full color on a 2-page spread. Ideal for traditional quilters and quilt history buffs, this robust offering of 30 antique quilts also includes 5 quilt projects that readers can recreate at home. Offering access to the authors’ privately held family collection, this book gives an in-depth look at the importance of quilts to the pioneer life. As you view the quilts, you'll also read accounts of the Westward Expansion, including information on preparation for the long journey and a depiction of real life on the prairie.
Jul 1, 2017

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Anteprima del libro

Pioneer Quilts - Lori Lee Triplett

Publisher: Amy Marson

Creative Director: Gailen Runge

Editor: Liz Aneloski

Technical Editors: Deanna Csomo McCool, Sadhana Wray, and Linda Johnson

Cover/Book Designer: April Mostek

Production Coordinator: Zinnia Heinzmann

Production Editor: Jennifer Warren

Illustrator: Tim Manibusan

Photo Assistants: Carly Jean Marin and Mai Yong Vang

Photography by Diane Pedersen of C&T Publishing, Inc., unless otherwise noted

Published by C&T Publishing, Inc., P.O. Box 1456, Lafayette, CA 94549


To the pioneers, who blazed a trail for us to follow, wrote journals or diaries for us to explore, and left textiles as a legacy of artistry for us to love.


Thank you to everyone who continues to support our quilting journey.


In January 2014 we attended the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival in Japan. At that time we met with quilt festival planners to see if they would be interested in any exhibitions from the Poos Collection, such as the Chintz Quilts exhibition. Several months later we were amazed when the planners asked if we could tell the American pioneer story through quilts. It started us on a journey of discovering more about our family, more about the plains, and more about the Great Migration.

The Great Migration

The United States of America made the Louisiana Purchase in 1803,¹ and thus began one of the largest human migrations in U.S. history. The territory contained, besides Louisiana, a large portion of the Great Plains—including Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas (which then extended to the base of the Rocky Mountains), Nebraska, part of New Mexico, a large portion of both Dakotas, and more.² The Louisiana Purchase meant even more land was available for exploration and ownership for those able to pay. By 1800 the minimum number of acres a settler could purchase under the Land Ordinance of 1785 had been halved, to 320 acres, and settlers were allowed to pay in 4 installments, making land ownership a reality for a few more. In 1804 the required minimum acreage was halved again. The Homestead Act of 1862 made property ownership possible for many more by requiring settlers simply to file a claim and improve the land for 5 years.

A covered wagon on the Oregon Trail

Photo by Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives

Originally the westward course of expansion was the Missouri River, with travel dominated initially by canoes or small boats and later with steamboats. Over land, the Santa Fe Trail, pioneered by William Becknell in 1821, served as a main trade route for merchants from Independence, Missouri, to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Beginning in 1830, the Great Platte River Road was the convergence point of many routes (Trappers’ Trail, Oregon Trail, Mormon Trail, California Trail, Pony Express route) and a superhighway of westward expansion.³ This road gave rise to several places along the Missouri River, including Omaha, Council Bluffs, Nebraska City, St. Joseph, and Kansas City.⁴

1855 Colton pocket map of the United States, created by Joseph Hutchins Colton

Photo of printed cartograph by Geographicus Rare Antique Maps

According to historian Merrill Mattes, pioneers may be divided into three main categories: soldiers who occupied the military posts and conducted government business;⁵ civilians who made a living in the wilderness—trappers, traders, teamsters, laundresses, cooks, stagecoach drivers, Pony Express riders, station keepers, mail contractors, and explorers;⁶ and immigrants—anyone whose main purpose was to travel to improve his or her fortune.⁷

This is the group of people that we focus on—those mothers, daughters, sons, and fathers who left behind family and friends to travel to a new place and create a home. Myths about the great trek started quickly, with writers who may never have taken the trip creating stories about it. The tall tales have continued, enhanced by Hollywood. Instead of relying on the myths, this book is supported by historical research, records of friends and family who lived during the nineteenth century, and other primary sources. More than 2,000 diaries exist from the period, reproduced faithfully in book collections or published by individuals. Finally, state and local historical societies have among their holdings diaries, letters, and notes.

Hollywood’s version of the well-equipped, happy pioneers in the movie Santa Fe Trail, with Ronald Reagan, Errol Flynn,

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