By: Laurel Horton
A newspaper report of a local quilting event in Seneca, South Carolina, in 1910, recorded the participation of a group of eight women. The event is examined within the context of other local social events and quilting activities in an attempt to determine the significance of this event for its participants. The event narrative reveals the existence of a practical joke performed by the hostess as part of her enactment of an “old-fashioned quilting.” An unintended response to the event illustrates some of the tensions created by competing values among different social classes and by the changing roles of women. This study demonstrates the complex context of a single quilting event and focuses attention on women who were not active quiltmakers but who used quilts and quiltmaking to achieve personal and social goals.