The Godey Quilt: One Woman's Dream Becomes a Reality


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


By: Staebell, Sandra

Abstract: The Godey Quilt is a 1930s applique quilt composed of fifteen fabric portraits of men and women clothed in fashionable mid-nineteenth century attire. The dream of Mildred Potter Lissauer (1897-1998) of Louisville, Kentucky, this textile is a largely original design that is not representative of the major­ity of American quilts made during the early 1930s. Notable for the beauty and quality of its workmanship, the quilt's crafting was, in part, a response to the competitive spirit that reigned in quiltmaking at the time. Significantly, the survival of the materials that document its conception, design, and con­struction enhances its significance and can be used to create a timeline of its creation. Reflecting Colonial Revival concepts and imagery, the Godey Quilt is a remarkable physical expression of that era. Sandy Staebell received a BA in history from the University of Northern Iowa in 1980 and a master's in museum science from Texas Tech University three years later. She has been the Registrar/Curator of the Kentucky Museum, Western Kentucky University since 1988. She currently holds the rank of Associate Professor in Library Special Collections. Her research interests include quilts, historic costuming, political memorabilia, and decorative arts.