Fabric in quilts could serve as an important keeper of family and community memories. Mary Yutzy Nissley saved leftover scraps from the clothing she made for her family members, basting or pinning it in a small notebook. She labeled each swatch’s use and sometimes also where she purchased it. An industrious sewer, she made her family’s clothing using fabrics purchased at clearance sale from Montgomery Wards or repurposed from feedsacks. The fabrics then reminded her of the joys and challenges of life on the Kansas prairie, including fabric shortages during World War II, growing children, and traveling salesmen.

Swatch Book
Mary Yutzy Nissley
Eve Wheatcroft Granick Collection on Quilts, Archives and Special Collections, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries