SARAH'S FAVORITE debuted in print in the Ladies Art Company Catalogue in the late 19th century. It is illustrated twice in Nancy Cabot's quilt column in the Chicago Tribune: first in June of 1934 (see left), with a brief note dating it to 1869; and then again in January of 1937, but including a more detailed appreciation of its history from pioneer days, and in Cabot's view, symbolic of the grit of women who "braved the hardships of a virtually unknown country." Cabot says:|
"Pioneer women who braved the hardships of a virtually unknown country frequently were confronted with the necessity of warm bedclothing. The few patterns which were available were copied and recopied until the women decided to experiment and do a little designing in their own limited circles. SARAH'S FAVORITE is one of the creations following this dearth of quilt patterns, and is one of the simple pieced blocks which made the best all-over pattern for a coverlet. This design afforded excellent opportunity for the utilization of the voluminous dresses which were too worn to serve any other purpose than patches for a warm quilt."
Within the context of women's rights, there are many names that give the title of a quilt design a sense of freedom, honoring a person's preference, delight, or choice (derived from the long struggle for women's right to vote). Blocks of this type at this site also include:
AUNT PATSY'S PET
OLD MAID'S RAMBLER
AUNT MARY'S DOUBLE IRISH CHAIN
Thus SARAH'S FAVORITE takes it's place among these names of choice, as outlined by Ruth E. Finley's feminist take on quilt naming also. In the following citation from her famous groundbreaking book, OLD PATCHWORK QUILTS AND THE WOMEN WHO MADE THEM, published in 1929, Finley discusses, absolutely brilliantly, the history of women's rights as regards three quilt names — QUEEN CHARLOTTE'S CROWN, DOLLY MADISON'S STAR, and MRS. CLEVELAND'S CHOICE:
"The giving of these quilt names to quilt blocks scarcely could have resulted from other than unconscious responses. All the more significant is the fact. Such a designation as "Jazz Age" is a mere label of obvious manufacture, but in the progression of such words as "crown," "star," "choice," a subtle appreciation of trends is shown, trends not fixed at first not even definitely charted. All that the words imply, domination from above, struggle toward an ideal, and that final, cohesive maturity of selective self-determination, was definitely characteristic, we know now, of the political eras the three quilts sought to represent."