Friday, September 18, 2009

Hannah Haynes Headlee

Basket of Roses Medallion by Hannah Haynes Headlee, Topeka, Kansas, 1938

A few days ago the little sister of my much-missed old friend Marie Shirer brought a great quilt to my class. Carolyn had inherited the quilt above from her parents. Her father's mother's sister (Carolyn and Marie's great-grand aunt) was Hannah Headlee, an applique quilter extraordinaire.

Hannah Haynes Headlee 1866-1943

Hannah was a painter who did watercolors and china painting. One of my favorite quilts in the whole world is her Iris Garland, which is now in the collection of the Kansas Museum of History. Click here for more information: http://www.kshs.org/cool2/coolquil.htm

Iris Garland by Hannah Haynes Headlee, Topeka, Kansas, about 1935. Collection of the Kansas Museum of History.

A few of Hannah's seven known quilts are still in the family; Carolyn's cousins inherited some.
Cranes by Hannah Haynes Headlee, Topeka, Kansas, about 1934

The Peacock by Hannah Haynes Headlee, Topeka, Kansas, about 1932. Collection of the International Quilt Study Center and Museum.

Marie, Carolyn and I had lost track of the Peacock and I told Carolyn I would look around for it. I found it in the IQSC, a good home.

See their picture of it here: http://www.quiltstudy.org/includes/photos/quilt_database/large/2005_024_0001.jpg

You'll notice Hannah's unique border style---sort of a gothic swag.


  1. What a beautiful collection of quilts.


  2. These quilts are gorgeous! She was quite an artist and needlewoman!

  3. What wonderful quilts. The handle of the basket in the first one is really interesting. The swag almost looks painted on because of the shading. thanks for sharing....

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  5. Let me try this again Barbara.
    What stunning quilts this woman created- She may not have created many but the ones she did were fabulous- so intricate and beautifully pieced. I loved pieced borders and hers are gorgeous.
    I love the Iris quilt particularly. Thanks for sharing her beautiful work.