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Cool Things - Women's Club Quilt

Women's club quiltAmong the many activities women's clubs have engaged in over the years, one of the most popular has been quiltmaking. This quilt was made by a club named Women In Our Neighborhood.

The quilt owner, Hazel Hughes, was active in a club known as W.I.O.N., for "Women In Our Neighborhood." Its members lived in rural Gove County in northwestern Kansas.  Founded in 1931, the club met frequently throughout the decade--even during dust storms--to entertain its members with fellowship and refreshments. Meetings offered musical programs and discussions on such topics as gardening and household budgeting. Quilting and other handiwork also was involved.

Worked in a fan pattern, Hughes' quilt has names embroidered on each fan, for a total of 28 names plus "W.I.O.N." and the year "1936."

The names on the quilt undoubtedly were those of club members. It may have been made to commemorate Hughes' tenure as president in 1936, although the club gave other quilts to members during that same year.

During Hughes' term, W.I.O.N.'s activities often involved husbands and children. Together, they helped neighbors rebuild homes lost to fire, donated articles to the Farm Bureau ladies rest room in Oakley, and did other philanthropic deeds. Club members regularly celebrated holidays and organized parties and picnics. In August 1936, members and their families traveled to a local lake for a basket dinner at which Mr. Hughes dished out five gallons of ice cream.

When Hazel Hughes' term as club president ended in September of 1936, the club presented her with a baking dish and reported in the Oakley Graphic that she was the "first president in the five years of our club work to never miss a meeting in the whole year." Later in the month, the newspaper reported that W.I.O.N. members were quilting on her "club quilt."

This quilt must be that same bedcover, donated by Mrs. Hughes' son, Bob, in 1999. It is in the collections of the Society's Kansas Museum of History.

Entry: Cool Things - Women's Club Quilt

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: November 1998

Date Modified: March 2013

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.