Sunday, October 22, 2017

Geography Lesson

Did you ever notice how much a crazy quilt can resemble a map?

Clara apparently did.

1891.Crazy quilt by 13-year-old Clara Sawtell, done as a class project,
Wisconsin Project, pictured in their book
Wisconsin Quilts: Stories in the Stitches by Ellen Kort.

"British America" it says above the Canadian border.
From Copake Auctions & Laura Fisher.

American Museum of Folk Art collection---with our major waterways.

Another from Laura Fisher's inventory---20th century---with
our minor waterways too.

State Flowers. Yikes!

The New York Public Library's excellent image files
have this picture, probably from about 1940.
A very accurate representation.

I like the inaccurate representations better.

Things got tougher after 1959. What are you
going to do with Hawaii?

I've got several state maps in the file.

Some states are easier to represent than others

Harriett Deuell, Wyandotte County, Kansas, Dated 1887.

This is a map of Kansas, not Nebraska.
Nebraska is on our North. Indian Territory
is now Oklahoma.

An even more formidable project is representing the whole world---
or at least the Russo-centric part of it.

One of those category 6 hurricanes seems to have played
havoc with the gulf states here.

Clinton R. Hamilton, Washington DC, Dated 1934
IQSCM #2008_008_0001
The best one!

See a Pinterest page on contemporary map quilts and aerial views:

See a preview of the Wisconsin book here with Clara's story:


  1. Minor waterways and Cat 6 made me laugh! Yup the last one is perfect :)

  2. Amazing quilts. You have the most informative and interesting posts. A HUGE thank you for posting information.

  3. What a lively group of quilts! I especially like the red chili-pepper shaped Mexico.

  4. My state of Maine seems to wiggle all over the place. Sometimes rearing up like a horse into Canada, sometimes a blob angling out to sea. Wonderful. I know I couldn't do any better!

  5. A kit featuring a colorful, cute U.S. map showed up today on a popular online quilt vendor. The map was designed by Greg Mably for Kaufman. Very timely!

  6. Love these! My grandson loves geography. I started a US map quilt that started looking like your last image, so I gave up and bought a nice map. Now that I see this one, I think I will try again.

  7. This reminds me of a U.S. map in the Dawson County, Nebraska museum made of buttons. And it's huge ... several feet long. Fascinating to see so many patchwork maps!

  8. Little did they know that Apollo missions and satellites would soon resolve those pesky geography questions.

  9. Love maps and these are great! And some not so great! LOL

  10. The map was designed by Greg Mably for Kaufman. Very timely!