Why Ernest Haight Made Quilts


From Uncoverings 2016, Volume 37 of the Research Papers of the American Quilt Study Group


By: Gregory, Jonathan

Abstract: In 1934, following a decade of personal losses and financial reversal, Ernest B. Haight ( 1899-1992) began quiltmaking, which he continued for the remain­der of his productive years. As one who by nature and training focused on the process of making things as well as the aesthetics of what he made, Haight developed sew-then-cut and machine quilting approaches that increased the accuracy and efficiency of his quiltmaking. Quiltmaking fed his soul by pro­viding a creative and practical activity that also satisfied his need for intellec­tual challenge, helped him cope with difficult circumstances and losses, and offered opportunities to serve others through generously sharing his quilts and quiltmaking practices. Quiltmakers recognized Haight's accomplishments during the 1970s' Quilt Revival; however the importance of quiltmaking to himself exceeded his influence on the direction of quiltmaking during the early years of the Revival . Jonathan Gregory earned his MA in textile history with an emphasis on quilt studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2007 and his PhdD in Human Sciences with a specialization in textiles, also from UNL in 2015. In 2010, Gregory became Assistant Curator of Exhibhitions at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum, in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he leads development and production of the exhibitions. Gregory is co-editor of the IQSC&M's website, World Quilts The Amereican Story, and is a contributing author to various IQSC&M publications, including American Quilts in the Industrial Age, 1790-1870 (2017), What's In A Name (2012), American Quilts in the MOdern Age, 1870-1840 (2009), and Pojagi: Patchwork from Korea (2008).