As a single young adult, Mercy Jane Bancroft worked as a private dressmaker. Her friendship quilt and diaries record some of her relationships, both business and personal. In the 19th century not all women (or their quilts for that matter) were confined solely to the domestic sphere. Bancroft’s “women’s work” indeed consisted of sewing, but she often did so for pay. Learn more from Melissa Jurgena, “She Hath Done What She Could: Discovering Memories on a New York Friendship Quilt,” Uncoverings 23 (2002): 1-30.