Quilt of the Month

March 2016

March 2016

Large Cross

Ernest B. Haight

Circa 1970

Made in David City, Nebraska

94 x 78 inches

IQSCM 2014.072.0002

Gift of Darlene and Elmer Haight of Colorado

Ernest Haight of David City Nebraska made more than 300 quilts between 1934 and 1986. A 1924 agricultural engineering graduate from the University of Nebraska, Haight’s quilts used time-saving methods.

He devised innovative ways to increase the accuracy and reduce the time it took to make a quilt using speed piecing and machine quilting. Haight’s speed-piecing used an assembly-line approach of sewing long strips of fabric side-by-side in the proper order, then cutting across the strips to make units of multiple squares, saving many hours and increasing consistency. His diamond-grid machine quilting patterned required 8-10 hours to complete for a bed-sized quilt.

He shared his techniques in the 1974 booklet, Practical Machine-Quilting for the Homemaker. Haight’s work was featured in the IQSCM’s 2013-2014 exhibition, “The Engineer Who Could: Ernest Haight’s Half-Century of Quiltmaking.”

Learn more about Haight and his technique in this series of videos: