Quilt of the Month


June 2009

June 2009

Log Cabin, Pineapple variation
Made by Anna Hazel Burmeister (1875-1959)
Made in Waukesha, Wisconsin
c. 1894
85" x 75"
IQSC 1997.007.0933
Ardis and Robert James Collection of Antique and Contemporary Quilts
American Quilts in the Modern Age, 1870-1940 Exhibition

Anna Hazel Burmeister was no stranger to determination or accomplishment. She was born on a farm in rural Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, to German immigrants William and Sophie Mueller Burmeister. Anna became a dressmaker in Waukesha and shared a business with her sister, Elsie, a milliner. When Anna entered the quilt you see here in the 1894 Wisconsin State Fair, she won first place in the Log Cabin Quilt Division, receiving a premium of $4.00.

By December, 1905, Anna had moved to Chicago and gained work as the head of a department in the dressmaking section of Marshall Field's department store. While there she decided to pursue a career in dentistry. She attended dental school at Marquette University in Milwaukee and graduated in 1912 as one of the first female dentists in the United States. A May 26, 1912, Milwaukee Journal article quotes Burmeister: "It has been hard work. The money didn't come easy and my course took a lot. But I did no more than other girls have done and can do. All that is required is the determination. I made up my mind to get my dental degree and I went after it with all the power in me."