On this day in 1963, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States was assassinated while traveling through Dallas, Texas. Kennedy was the youngest man elected President (at age 43) and the youngest to die in office (at age 46). J.F.K.’s favorite hobbies were sailing, swimming and football and among his favorite pets were ponies.
Retta Booher Holland of Grand Prairie, Texas (fifteen miles west of Dallas) pieced this Crossed Canoes quilt in 1957. Holland purchased the scraps for the quilt from a dress factory near her home for $1. Her daughter, Kathleen Holland McCrady, did the quilting and said about her mother: “She worked hard all her life, and perhaps enjoyed most the part of her life after they [she and her husband] retired from the cafe business. She sewed for others and worked in her church keeping the babies in the nursery. She was always busy, seemed happy with her lot in life, and made the best of her situation. She had 17 grandchildren.”
The quilt was documented during the Texas Quilt Search Project and is included in the book Lone Stars: A Legacy of Texas Quilts, Vol. II, 1936-1986, by Karoline Patterson Bresenhan and Nancy O’Bryant Puentes (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1990.) It was included in an exhibition by the same name at the International Quilt Festival, in Houston, Texas in November, 1990. Additional information about Retta Booher Holland and her daughter Kathleen McCrady can be found in Kathleen H. McCrady, My Journey with Quilts: Over 70 Years of Quiltmaking 1932-2003 (Austin: 2005).
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.
Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance