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The Mary Schafer Collection: A Legacy of Quilt History

Mary Schafer's Bicentennial Quilts

The celebration of the Bicentennial of the United States helped foster a renewed interest in quilting in America. Across the country, individuals and groups made quilts that paid tribute to important events and individuals in the nation’s history. Mary’s series of quilts made during the 1970s included ones that incorporated images of or references to Washington, Lafayette, General Burgoyne, Molly Pitcher, and the American Flag.

During this period quilting publications became more widely available and interest in the public display of quilts was heightened. Mary participated in as many quilt shows as possible.

MarySchafer in colonial outfit.
Photographer unknown, courtesy of Mary Schafer.



The cover of Quilter’s Journal shows Mary dressed in Colonial costume, demonstrating quilting.



Marie Webster in colonial outfit.
Photographer unknown, courtesy of Mary Schafer.
Marie Webster is photographed dressed in this romantic style while presenting her quilts during the 1920s and 1930s. The practice of women dressing up in Colonial costume for quilting demonstrations has been documented as far back as the Civil War.

Mary is on the right.
Mary’s Bicentennial series quilts were frequently exhibited as a part of local Bicentennial celebrations. Mary’s quilting activities often received the attention of local papers.

Mary's Bicentennial Quilts
Click for full view

Eisenhower Washington Plume Queen Charlotte's Crown Lafayette Orange Peel
Burgoynne Surrounded Molly Pitcher Spirit of 76  

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