On This Day in History Quilt for May 6.

On this day in 1933, United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order to enact the Works Progress Administration (WPA), one of several Depression-era relief programs that put unemployed people to work in 1935. Three million people were employed by WPA jobs alone. Civil projects like building bridges, highways, schools, hospitals, and public arts work like murals, literary publications and plays were all funded by WPA funds.


Minnie Benberry of Western Kentucky, mother-in-law of quilt historian Cuesta Benberry made this “W.P.A. Tulip” quilt around 1930. From this Quilt Index record: “Mrs. Benberry (Cuesta) noted that this quilt was one of the WPA quilts from the Great Depression era. She explained that the government hired artists and craftspersons to make quilts during that time of economic hardship. This program served two purposes: These quilts were something of use, utilitarian, yet beautiful and also gave work to talented Americans who had no other means of employment.

This quilt is part of the Cuesta Benberry Quilt and Ephemera Collection, donated to Michigan State University Museum. in 2008 by Benberry’s son.

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.


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance

How To Trim Flying Geese Without A Specialty Ruler

If you don’t have a Bloc-Loc ruler, you may find trimming these flying geese challenging. But by following these steps, you should be able to get four accurate geese in each color!

First, line up your ruler so the point of the flying geese unit will be trimmed exactly ¼” above the point. Try to line the unit up as straight as possible on the other three sides.

Next, flip the unit over. Line up the edge you just cut on the 2” line of the ruler as shown below, and trim the excess from the top.

Flip the unit right side up again. Line the lower left corner up with the 3 ½” mark on your ruler as shown above. Trim the excess on the right.

Finally, flip the unit over again so the point is pointing towards the 2” line. Align the left edge of the unit with the 3 ½” ruler mark as shown above and trim the excess on the right. Your flying goose unit is now ready to be pieced into your block!

Quilt Documentation Tip

 Andrea’s block story is all about the importance of quilt guilds. Quilting can feel solitary, but guilds bring us together. It’s a topic of conversation that was discussed with two Birthday Block of the Month Designers in a recent Textile Talk where the participants all shared emotional stories about their love for their guilds. 

Did you know that your guild can document your quilts as a group? Consider hosting a quilt documentation day in your guild! Follow these instructions and have members share three minute stories about one meaningful quilt in the Quilt Alliance’s signature Go Tell It documentation program. You could even host a screening so all of your members can see the videos! Get in touch at: qsos@quiltalliance.org

See You in October for Month Seven!

Thank you so much to everyone who has participated in the Quilt Alliance’s Birthday Block of the Month so far! Our designer for next month, the seventh block we’re making together, is Bonnie Hunter herself! 

Be sure to tag @quiltalliance and @3rdstoryworkshop on Instagram with your block photos this month, and use the hashtag #QuiltAllianceBOM. And leave any questions about this month’s block in the comments below!


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