Journalist Ruth Finley was an expert at public relations and she and Helen Koues, an editor at Good Housekeeping, persuaded First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to accept this quilt for the White House quilt collection (no where to be found in the recent past.)
We agreed the quilt on the right is a better design than the Ruth Finley pattern. We also agreed it was unlikely that Finley actually made the quilt as the Good Housekeeping pattern said in 1934. The newspaper feature tells a different story. Ruth Finley designed it. We don't have any evidence that she actually sewed quilts.
"The pattern, which could be purchased for 25 cents from the magazine’s Needlework Department, gave instructions for making the appliquéd flowers and yo-yos, or puffs, but it left their placement to the whim of the quiltmaker. Thus, though most Roosevelt Rose quilts were black cotton sateen, there are no two identical versions."
You can buy a copy of our Know-It-Alls Episode #19 in which we discuss the quilt in Xenia's booth. $12---watch it anytime: