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Festival of Appliqued Cherries.

On This Day in History Quilt for March 27:

On this day in 1912, First Lady Helen Taft and Japanese Viscountess Chinda planted two Yoshina cherry trees on the Potomac River bank in Washington, D.C. The trees (3,000 of them) were a gift to the U.S. government from the Japanese. The blossoming trees were so popular that in 1934, city commissioners sponsored a 3-day celebration during the late March blooming of the trees. The Cherry Blossom Festival is now celebrated annually. In 2012, more than 1.5 million visitors attended the Centennial Celebration of the Gift of the Trees.

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Levina Thomas Stone, of the Five Points Community near Lamesa, Texas, made this Cherry Quilt between 1929-1930. Stone hand pieced, appliqued and quilted this quilt, that includes 1,200 stuffed dimensional applique cherries, “each perfectly round.” From this quilt record: “The quilt maker’s granddaughter notes that her grandmother lived in a cotton-growing area during the Depression. She picked cotton to earn money for her family’s needs and made clothing for her family.” The quilt was documented during the Texas Quilt Search and included in the book “Lone Stars: A Legacy of Texas Quilts, Vol. 1, 1836-1936 (Bresenhan and Puentes, Austin: University of Texas Press).

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View this quilt on The Quilt Index to read more about it’s history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view.

Sources:
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/japanese-cherry-trees-planted-along-the-potomac
http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/about/history/

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Amy Milne headshot

Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance
amy.milne@quiltalliance.org

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