Michigan Quilt Project
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The Cuesta Benberry Quilt and Ephemera Collection

Nine Patch
Bea Adolph
St. Louis, Missouri
37” x 46”
MSUM 2008:119.22, Gift of George Benberry
Photo by Pearl Yee Wong, all rights reserved Michigan StateUniversity Museum

Cuesta said of the quilt, "Made by Bea Adolph, an African American, St. Louis, MO. Bea Adolph, originally from Mississippi, came to St. Louis, where she became the housekeeper for a white family, the Hashbargers. When the first child was born, Bea Adolph offered to make a quilt for the baby if the family would furnish the necessary materials. Bea Adolph made the baby boy a little Sunbonnet Boy typeof quilt, but she made the Sunbonnet Boy on the quilt a black child, although the quilt was intended for a white child. The Hashbarger boy loved his quilt, and even after he grew to be a man, and moved to Chicago, he took his quilt with him. As it was so small, he folded it and placed it across the foot of his bed. The "Nine Patch Quilt" was a later quilt that Bea Adloph made for the child. It was used but the black Sunbonnet Boy quilt always remained his favorite. His mother Ruth Hashbarger, St. Louis, gave the little "Nine Patch Quilt" to me to aid me in my studies of African American quilts. When Bea Adolph retired, she moved back to Mississippi."

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