On This Day in History Quilt for April 23.

On this day in 1564 William Shakespeare was born according to the church record of his baptism. He lived to age 52 and is credited for authoring 38 of the most analyzed and performed plays in history.


This quilt, titled “Idiot Star,” was made by the late quiltmaker and writer Helen Kelley in 1989. Celebrated for her affinity for color and storytelling in her work, Kelley included this inscription on the back of the quilt: “Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May” Shakespeare/ made by one rosebud and five American beauties/The quilt belongs to me/ Helen Kelley 1989.” These names are inscribed on the front of the quilt, one per block: Marge Anderson, Connie Pluhar, Helen Kelley, Helen Lange, Mary L.Chmiel, Norma Ahlquist. The quilt was documented as part of the Minnesota Quilt Project.

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.


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Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance