April 15, 2014
Holstein points to the quilt’s stitching, which is done in the shapes of hearts and flowers. Also visible is the name stencil in the corner.
Stories this photo appears in:
Sometime during the 1830s or 1840s, a Cazenovia teenager named Helen Sherman handmade a 10-foot-by-10-foot bed quilt using all-natural dyes for the coloring and embroidered the stitching on the back in patterns of heart-shaped flowers. The front pattern includes numerous star shapes called a “mariner’s compass” in a “log cabin” pattern in what would have been an incredibly difficult and demanding pattern, taking months if not years to make. Two weeks ago, that quilt — the oldest ever recorded and verified as being made in Cazenovia — returned home as a donation to the library by the descendants of the original quilter.