The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

tique quilts still in private hands and to produce an official catalogue for
the traveling exhibition of the Texas Sesquicentennial Quilt Association.
From over three thousand possibilities they chose these particular quilts
for the unusual nature of home-woven and home-dyed fabrics, the vitali-
ty of the colors, the ingenuity shown in the designs, and the self-discipline
evinced in the needlework.
For each entry there is a large photograph and a detailed section of
the full quilt; a photograph of the quilt artist, when possible; and a lengthy
text description of the pattern name, workmanship, design, and artistic
quality of the piece. Included also are histories, stories about the quilts,
and observations concerning quilting as practiced in Texas and other
regions of the country.
A quilt represented a part of the maker's innermost feelings and often
conveyed a touching personal message. Stitched into Texas quilts were
political commentaries, scenes of daily life, genealogical data, signatures
of the circle members, and poignant memories of deceased loved ones.
Bresenhan and Puentes point out that some nineteenth-century Texas men
quilted, that there was a tradition of leaving a deliberate error in each
piece, that a young girl was expected to produce thirteen quilts before
quilting her wedding "masterpiece," and that Texas women quilters
demonstrated extraordinary artistic freedom in creating their designs.
For the benefit of nonquilting general readers the authors include an
instructive "definition of terms" section and numerous informative quota-
tions from such respected references as Jonathan Holstein's The Pieced Quilt:
An American Design Tradition (1973) and Carleton L. Safford and Robert
C. Bishop's America's Quilts and Coverlets (1980). In essence, this is an at-
tractive and revealing study that provides a sensitive glimpse into the lives
of talented but unknown women who are an important part of the cultural
mosaic of Texas.
Texas Woman's University DOROTHY D. DEMOSS
Bastrop County before Statehood. By Kenneth Kesselus. (Austin: Jenkins
Publishing Company, 1986. Pp. xxii + 329. Foreword, preface, ac-
knowledgments, maps, photographs, illustrations, notes, appendices,
bibliography, index. $20. Distribution via: Bastrop Stationers, Drawer
2, Bastrop, Texas 78602.)
The author has successfully produced a readable, accurate, and revi-
sionist history of the area encompassed by modern Bastrop County, using
a wealth of original sources plus the usual colorful reminiscences of old-
timers. Kenneth Kesselus grew up in the area in the 1950s, exploring
the historic sites and talking with longtime residents. In 1981 he returned


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed August 30, 2015.