Eleanor Loos Boelte Quilt Collection
The Eleanor Loos Boelte Quilt Collection is primarily comprised of quilt patterns and quilt kit materials used by Eleanor Loos Boelte, likely from the mid-1920s to the early-1940s. The pieces in this collection exemplify the process of making kit quilts in the early 20th century. The collection includes popular publications such as the Pictorial Review: Book of Monograms, no. 1, as well as Grandma’s Clark’s perforated patterns. It also includes two packages of Grandma Clark’s blue stamping powder, used to transfer pattern designs from the perforated paper to fabric. Evidence of this stamping process can be seen on the two floral embroidery patterns that match the embroidered quilt squares. The embroidered quilt squares are accompanied by embroidery floss, embroidery floss organizers, and pink and white fabric. Boelte made a kit quilt using the same color fabric and embroidery design as the pieces in this collection, suggesting that they were going to be used to make a second, similar quilt. This kit quilt is part of the American Folk Art Museum’s collection (2014.3.2).
Also in this collection are printed documents provided by the donor, Pat Boelte. These resources include ancestry documents for the Boelte family, in addition to information about Charlotte “Lottie” Zeuner (1841-1915), the great great maternal aunt of Boelte and the assumed maker of “Aunt Lottie’s Redwork Quilt,” which is also part the American Folk Art Museum’s collection (2014.3.1). These papers also contain an appraisal form for each of the three quilts donated by Pat and John Boelte to the American Folk Art Museum in 2014 (2014.3.1-3).
- Materials in this collection are likely from the 1920s-1940s, although many are undated specifically the textile materials and quilting supplies.
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
The Eleanor Loos Boelte Quilt Collection is owned by the American Folk Art Museum. The collection is subject to all copyright laws, and is dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship.
Biographical / Historical
Eleanor Loos Boelte (née Eleanor Sunshine Loos) was born on December 13, 1906 in Chicago, Illinois to John P. and Mary P. Loos. She lived on the South side of Chicago for all of her childhood. She was a graduate of Hyde Park High School and a member of the Natal chapter, Order of the Eastern Star (O.E.S.), and the Phi Delta Phi sorority. On October 12, 1932, she married Emil F. Boelte of New York City. Shortly after getting married, the couple moved to Westchester County, New York, settling in Larchmont and then White Plains. Boelte was a resident of White Plains for 57 years before she passed away in 2000 at the age of 93. In White Plains, she was an active member of the Church in the Highlands. Her love of natural foliage and flowers led her to memberships in the Ceres Garden Club of Rye and the Westchester Daffodil Society.
Sources used for this note:
Newspaper clippings in this collection
Obituary for Eleanor Loos Boelte. The Journal News. May 15, 2000. https://obits.lohud.com/obituaries/lohud/obituary.aspx?n=eleanor-loos-boelte&pid=148804170 (accessed April 20, 2020)
1.0 cubic feet (1 half-size document box; 1 oversized flat case (16.25" x 20.25" x 3.75"))
Language of Materials
The Eleanor Loos Boelte Quilt Collection primarily contains quilt kit materials used by Eleanor Loos Boelte (1906-2000), likely in her late-teens to early adulthood, or approximately the mid 1920s to the early 1940s. Materials in this collection directly relate to a pink and white embroidered kit quilt made by Boelte, which was accessioned into the American Folk Art Museum’s collection in 2014. This collection exemplifies the process of making kit quilts in the early 20th century and is comprised of both paper and textile materials.
The textiles in this collection are primarily found in Box 2, except for some paper and fabric quilt block patterns, which are located in Box 1. Box 1 is arranged in roughly chronological order, although it should be noted that most materials are undated.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated by Pat Boelte. Credit: Mr. and Mrs. John P. Boelte
Pink and While Embroidered Quilt. Made by Eleanor Loos Boelte. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John P. Boelte. 2014.3.2.
Children at Play Crib Quilt. Made by Eleanor Loos Boelte. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John P. Boelte. 2014.3.3.
Aunt Lottie’s Redwork Quilt. Made by Charlotte “Lottie” Zuener. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John P. Boelte. 2014.3.1.
- A Guide to the Eleanor Loos Boelte Quilt Collection
- Regina Carra
- March 2020
- Language of description
- Script of description