In 1943, Grace Snyder completed her amazing Flower Basket Petit Point Quilt. It contains 85,789 pieces of fabric, took 16 months to complete, used 5,400 yards of thread, and measures 93 x 94 inches. It is hard to comprehend actually doing this and yet she did it, while she was a rancher’s wife who raised children, grew a garden, canned food, and accomplished many other things. She patterned her idea for the quilt after a piece of china called “Victory” from Salem, Ohio. The china pattern had a beautiful petit point design of a flower basket.
Deciding to participate in this challenge was easy for me once I thought of this Grace Snyder quilt made with all solid color fabrics. Usually when one reproduces a quilt it is done in some form of miniature, but I chose to make each of my squares one-half inch where Grace’s were one-quarter of an inch. This made my completed quilt with only one basket block and a few extra flowers in the corners, finish at 40 x 40 inches and contain 6,840 pieces. It took me six months to complete the top and I used my sewing machine as well as foundation papers to make the thousands of half-square triangles.
Each week as I worked on this quilt, my admiration for Grace grew and I wondered: Where did she get her many shades and colors of solid fabrics in the 1940s during World War II? After making a few basket blocks, did she ever want to quit? I am so glad she did not. We have this work of art to admire, now in the Nebraska State Historical Society Museum, where it is continuously available for viewing in a very large drawer.