Monday, November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving Quilts

 This week folks in the U.S. will be celebrating Thanksgiving.  

On a whim, I decided to look up "Thanksgiving Quilts" in old newspapers.  There were a surprising amount of Thanksgiving Quilts mentioned in the 1920s.  

In some cases, it appears that the quilts were made as fund raisers.  In 1924, The Kentucky Advocate had an article that talked about the First Baptist Church.  Apparently exterior repairs were more costly than expected and members were encouraged to help out:

"...the congregation will piece out a 'Thanksgiving Quilt' with the number of dollar bills, one for each member.  The unique service will be held Sunday morning, and every member is earnestly urged to be present. "  It sounds as if there was no actual fabric piecing involved but a quilt made of dollar bills which was called the "Thousand Dollar Quilt".

Other articles clearly referred to an actual quilts for donations.  The Bangor Daily News in Maine, published an article about the Ladies Aid Society.  The ladies were asked to bring a picnic lunch and assist in tacking "Thanksgiving Quilts".  The Ladies Aid Society often made quilts for the less fortunate.
Kansas City Star, 1938

George Washington suggested a Thanksgiving Holiday as early as 1789.  Lincoln also called for an official holiday celebrated on the last Thursday in November.  The official holiday didn't occur until 1941.

Horn of Plenty quilts were much more common than a quilt entitled "Thanksgiving" .  A great article on them is here.

A Horn of Plenty from my collection.  
The pattern/kit was offered by Paragon in the 1950s.

Today my husband and I are going for our covid boosters--and for this we are truly grateful.  Only a year ago, we had to keep our children from the elderly in our families because we were worried about them catching Covid.  

Wishing you a safe and happy day!


  1. Thanks for sharing. I love reading the history and information you discover regarding quilts, blocks, and embroidery.

  2. Thank you for the link. Very interesting.