“What’s blue and white and read all over; star-spangled, diamond-studded and heavy with celebrated American names? It’s Mina Kuthe’s salute to the United States Bicentennial!” This is how a Chicago Tribune reporter described Mina Kuthe’s 1974 effort to gather autographs for a special bicentennial quilt. She decided to make this quilt after reading a Life Magazine article about a quilt signed by Abraham Lincoln.
Kuthe was not bashful about writing 200 letters to entertainers, broadcasters, sports figures, and politicians. One hundred and fifty-four people returned her swatch of fabric with their signature. Among those who responded were: comedian Carol Burnett, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and entertainer Frank Sinatra, Jr. The performer Liberace included a sketch of his piano, complete with flickering candelabra.