By: Ricky Clark
Ruth Finley, pioneering quilt author, lived the first half of her life in Ohio’s Western Reserve. This paper investigates the influences of that region on her later life and writing, and on her involvement in the Colonial Revival. Sources for the paper include family letters and documents, Finley’s personal notes, public records, interviews with people who knew Finley, and field research conducted in villages where her family lived.
Finley’s well-documented family with its New England roots nourished her interest in history and helped her capitalize on the Colonial Revival movement. Her background shaped the pattern and depth of scholarship that resulted in her classic book, Old Patchwork Quilts and the Women Who Made Them, first published in 1929 and still widely quoted today.