ILLINOIS STATE MUSEUM
Quilts by Bertha Stenge
The Quilting Party
Hand-pieced, appliquéd, and quilted cotton
Collection of the Illinois State Museum, gift of the Frank Mason family
One of Bertha Stenge's most memorable quilts, The Quilting Party is made in the medallion style of early 1800s quilts. For the center, Stenge chose a mid-1800s painting by an unknown Virginia artist and rendered it precisely in cloth appliqué. She pieced the surrounding borders from vintage 1800s fabrics supplied by Florence Peto, a prominent East Coast antiques authority. In her book American Quilts and Coverlets (1949), Florence Peto promoted the idea of modern women making quilts in the antique style using vintage fabrics. Peto included a photograph of Stenge's The Quilting Party in her 1953 McCall's article "Quilts Then and Now." In 1954, The Quilting Party held a place of honor at the solo exhibit of Stenge quilts in New York City at the Women's International Exposition. Today it is considered one of the masterpiece quilts of the modern era.
Click here to see a detail of The Quilting Party quilt.
RIGHTS TO ALL IMAGES BELONG TO THE ILLINOIS STATE MUSEUM
Contact Janice Tauer Wass for permission to reproduce any materials on this page.
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© Illinois State Museum -- 30-December-98