Going West! Quilts and Community

This is an embroidered wool quilt with red color tones and four circles.

Sara Barbary Good Boldon, Wagon Wheels Crazy Quilt, Craig, Burt County, Nebraska, about 1890, wool; pieced, tied, pressed, and embroidered, Lent by the Burt County Museum, Tekamah

Going West! Quilts and Community reveals the essential role that quilts and the making of quilts played in the lives of women on the frontier. The exhibition features 50 quilts from the first quarter of the nineteenth century to the 1930s — on loan from historical societies and museums in Nebraska — that were brought on the journey as cherished memories or made once women established homes on the prairie.


Going West! includes a wide variety of quilts, from the familiar log cabin and lone star patterns to variations of the fan and wagon wheel to crazy quilts, doll and children’s quilts and community signature works. Each quilt reveals the extraordinary creativity of the individuals who made them and help to tell the stories of Americans who forged west and of the country's pioneering spirit.

Visiting Information

October 4, 2007 January 21, 2008
Open Daily, 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m
Free Admission


Going West! Quilts and Community
Often called the great corridor of America’s westward expansion, in the nineteenth century the Great Platte River Road carried wagon trains and settlers through Nebraska Territory to points farther west. In jumping-off places such as Omaha and along the Missouri River, settlers from the East Coast as well as immigrants from Europe packed wagons with the essentials for the long journey. And often tucked among the essentials were quilts for bedding, cherished reminders of home and loved ones, stitched with care.


The Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of Helen and Peter Bing for this exhibition.