By: Jan Stehlik
In a study of the Omaha World Herald, Omaha, Nebraska, a daily newspaper, 1920-1940, I found that the newspaper published nineteen quilt pattern series and sponsored ten contests with quilt shows in which one of the categories for the show features a previous pattern series.
From 1921-1934 the series patterns were designed by Ruby McKim and are not exclusive with the World Herald. In 1937 and 1938 the patterns were designed by the World Herald’s own Home Economics Editor, Nadine Bradley, while the 1940 design was by LaVerne Bartos who lived at Crete, Nebraska (just ten miles from my home!).
The quilt shows attracted as many as 25,000 viewers with the number of quilts entered varying from 350 in 1937 to 800 in 1938.
The interest in these patterns and contests in evidenced by World Herald quilts in recent Nebraska quilt shows and those documented in the Nebraska Quilt Project, as well as reprinting of the patterns by other publishers. The influence of this newspaper on quiltmaking seems to