In Philena\u2019s Friendship Quilt: A Quaker Farewell to Ohio, Lynda Salter Chenoweth discovers the story behind a Quaker signature quilt made in Ohio, in 1853. Chenoweth practices what she calls \u201cfabric archaeology\u201d to reveal not only the identity of the quilt recipient and details of her life and community but also a striking feature of the quilt itself-a hidden design element created by the deliberate placement of names on the quilt\u2019s surface. Chenoweth also describes nineteenth-century signature quilts and their appeal to Quaker quiltmakers.
Signature quilts, also known as friendship quilts, were often given as mementos to mark important community events. Chenoweth shares the methodology used to determine that Philena\u2019s quilt was made for Philena Cooper Hambleton, a resident of Butler Township in Columbiana County before she left Ohio to begin a new life in Iowa with her husband and two daughters. Chenoweth devotes the final chapter to the story of Philena\u2019s life and that of her immediate family. It follows her from her birth as Philena Evaline Cooper in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, in 1822, until her death in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1915. The details uncovered from information inscribed on the face of this quilt illustrate the value of quilts as important documents from which history can be recreated and past lives understood.
Philena\u2019s Friendship Quilt is the fourth book in the highly popular Ohio Quilt Series. The series tells the stories behind the social and historical circumstances that have influenced this unique and enduring American craft.