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New Pathways into Quilt History written by Kimberly Wulfert, www.antiquequiltdating.com

1884 New Orleans Exposition (aka Cotton Fair) sold the pattern for the Rose Quilt,
and shown at the 1902 St. Louis World's Fair

Stitching the Journey of the McHaney Rose Mosaic Quilt:
1889 to 2008
by Lenn Jackson

The Most Remarkable Quilt - Progress, April 14, 1911

"Reference to a notable quilt in another place in this issue, makes us recall the most remarkable piece of work of that kind that ever came under our observation. We refer to the quilt made by the late Mrs. Louise McHaney, widow of W.C. McHaney and on request, Mrs. J.M. Taylor has furnished us some facts in regard to the wonderful piece of work done by her mother at the age of 69 years. Afterward, and without glasses, Mrs. McHaney did, with her own hands, a lot of lace work, the like of which was never done by any other person in this country. It was called "The Rose Quilt" and contained 12,772 pieces. The number of stitches taken in piecing the quilt was 625,828; stitches in quilting, 178,808; total stitches, 804,636. The time consumed by Mrs. McHaney in making the Rose Quilt was 12 months and 12 days. Mrs. McHaney did this wonderful piece of work complete from a cardboard pattern brought here from the New Orleans Exposition [1884] and as its name implies, it represents a bouquet of roses." (Courtesy of Brenda Fiddler)

"The following is an article is from the Lexington Progress (Lexington, TN) newspaper that was provided by Brenda Fiddler."

Lexington, Tennessee – the Journey Begins in 1889

In March of 2001, I was visiting my mother, Millie Bomar in Tuscaloosa, AL. Mother’s sister, Mary Helen Grimes, was there as well. We were looking at this old quilt that my mother had inherited many years before that was made by her great grandmother – Louise McHaney (also referred to as Louisa in some documentation). Mary Helen’s daughter, Jenny Klostermeyer, is a talented quilter, so I suggested that she take it with her to Virginia and show it to Jenny. As the oldest daughter, I was to inherit the quilt on my mother’s death. My mother agreed that it would be nice for Jenny to get a good look at it, and her quilting friends would also appreciate seeing this “work of art”. Mary Helen and Jenny have enjoyed showing off the quilt. It has been to several antique shows and events in the DC area. Mary Helen said people began to call her the “quilt lady.”

Here is the history, as I know it, of the McHaney Rose Mosaic Quilt:

The family quilt is known to have been made by Louisa Henry McHaney, 1821 –
1905. The quilt is a postage stamp quilt, so named because the numerous pieces were the
very small size of postage stamps, 5/8”. The quilt is worked in colors of brown for the
background, blue, green, pink, red, and yellow for the leaves and flowers. This quilt
contains 12,772 pieces and a total of 804,636 stitches as counted by the maker’s husband, William Crutchfield McHaney. It was made when Mrs. McHaney was 69 years old and it took 12 months and 12 days to complete. It was shown in the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair and at the Marshall Fields Department Store in Chicago. The bouquet of roses, was copied from a [cardboard] pattern that she saw in New Orleans at the 1884 Cotton Exposition.

The quilt is passed down to the oldest daughter in our family. Since my great
granddaddy had 7 daughters, I suppose he decided to leave it to the oldest. My
grandmother, Louise Henry McHaney Moore (Lenn Howard) passed it to my mother,
Mildred Moore Bomar (John Ben), who passed it to me, Lenn Bomar Jackson (Charles
J). It would naturally go to my daughter, Karen Jackson Blair (Adam), but we have
decided to donate it to a museum so that others can enjoy this unique work of art.

Louisa Smith Henry and William Crutchfield McHaney had 12 children. They
were: Molly, Mattie, Cornelius Felix, Caroline, John Creed, Amanda L (Mrs. J M
Taylor), Mary S Wood (Levi), Elizabeth Lawler (William T) , Nannie L, Ada Celese,
Jefferson Davis, and Henry Arthur (my grandmother’s father).

We would love to find other quilts made by her or her family. We also would like
to know where she saw the pattern in New Orleans – was it a quilt or some needlework?
We know there are relatives still in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri. Maybe they will
read this article and shed some light. Since I have just received the quilt, I am beginning
to put together its journey one stitch at a time.

Post-script from Lenn Jackson on May 17 2008

"I have researched the pattern and have come to a dead end. The quilt looks like a needlepoint pattern. Kimberly Wulfert, PhD, an antique quilt historian and lecturer, said someone suggested to her that she may have used a Berlin work pattern. Wayne Phillips, Curator of Costumes and Textiles, Louisiana State Museum, tends to agree. He said that “Berlin work was commonly used for chairs, footrests, and pillows”. He suggests that Mrs. McHaney really went out on her own in making a quilt from the pattern. He said she might have used a chair back pattern because of its vertical orientation.

I am grateful to Kimberly Wulfert, and Pat Cummings, a certified master craftsman in quilting, who both printed stories about the quilt. The International Quilt Study Group in Lincoln, NE has inquired about having it in their collection and it will be reviewed by their acquisitions committee this summer. The International Quilt Study Center houses the largest collection of antique and contemporary quilts in the United States and is a leader in quilt studies.

We are excited to loan it to the Dunklin County Museum in Kennett, Mo. It will be on display there in June and July. Our family will celebrate the quilt with a reunion there in Kennett.

We also would like to know where she saw the pattern in New Orleans – was it a quilt or some needlework like Berlin work?"

See the June 18, 2008 newspaper article (.pdf).

In June, Lenn found a Log Cabin Quilt, also made by Louisa, in the collection of the Dunklin County Museum in Kennett, MO. It is a little historical museum in the small community in the Bootheel of Missouri (about 1 1/2 hours from Memphis). This is where Lenn's grandmother (Louise Henry McHaney Moore) lived and died. She was the granddaughter of Louisa McHaney the quiltmaker. This quilt was owned by Mary McHaney Coble, also a granddaughter of Louisa, and it was donated to the museum in the 1980's. Click here for photos

Please contact me at lennjackson@hotmail.com if you have any information for me.

Update August 2008 ...
The decision made by the International Quilt Study Center was made in August.
On August 28, 2008, Lenn sent me this message- “I'm happy to say that my quilt has found a new home! The IQSC has accepted it into their collection.


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© 2008 - 2015 Kimberly Wulfert, PhD. Absolutely no copies, reprints, use of photos or text are permitted for commercial or online use. One personal copy for study purposes is permitted.

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