On this day in 1935, John Royce Mathis was born in Gilmer, Texas to Clem and Mildred Mathis. The family moved to San Francisco when Johnny was a young boy his father, recognizing his son’s musical potential, bought him a piano for $25 and traded odd jobs for voice lessons. Mathis excelled at sports too—competing as a star athlete in track and field and basketball in high school. Mathis’s recording career highlights includes an unprecedented 480 continuous weeks on the Billboard Top Albums Chart for his Greatest Hits record, released in 1958.

Donoene McKay of Gilmer, Texas machine pieced and hand quilted this Yellow Rose of Texas quilt in 1983, using more than 5,000 pieces to create the pictorial motif. This quilt was reviewed and documented during the Texas Sesquicentennial Quilt Association’s Phase II of the Texas Quilt Search, 1986-1989, and contributed to The Quilt Index by the Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

From this record:

Quiltmaker states: I always wanted to do something in mosaic and did not know how. Had always done my own needlepoint designs and realized one day that each stitch could be used as a square. I worked out a needlepoint rose from [the Jackson & Perkins] catalog–then painted it in oils, then marked a grid. The Olfa cutter was new and gave me trouble to learn to use, but what a godsend for cutting out 5000+ little squares. I sewed on 4 machines with different colors thread, having filed the presser feet to one eighth in width. I made a mock-up with muslin background and began again with the green background. Both quilts were finished in one year.”


View this quilt on The Quilt Index to find out! Read more about its history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view or click the “See full record” link to see a larger image and all the data entered about that quilt.


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Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance