Pieced from Ellen's Quilt

by Linda Otto Lipsett

Cover of book, Pieced from Ellen's Quilt

Ellen Spaulding Reed's Letters and Story

In 1854 in Ludlow Vermont, a friendship quilt was made for nineteen-year-old Ellen Spaulding Reed's wedding and going-away present. Ellen was married on September 5, 1854, and journeyed by train, stage, and wagon to Burke, Wisconsin, where her husband previously had built a one-room log cabin for their first home. Ellen began writing home the very next morning after arriving in Burke. All too soon she discovered that the only good things about the West were the quiltings. Homesickness, loneliness, and hardships overtook her pride, and she pleaded to return home to Vermont. The story continues after her young death with her husband's marriage, struggle in the Civil War, and realization that Ellen had been right after all--he would never get rich in the West.

Pieced from Ellen's Quilt is the result of years of research. Through a will, Linda Otto Lipsett discovered Ellen's letters (now in the author's private collection). This book is the true story of a bridal friendship quilt in Ellen Spaulding Reed's own words through her letters with narration. A shortened version of Ellen's story ("A Piece of Ellen's Dress") first appeared in The Quilt Digest 2 and in 1985, in Linda's book Remember Me: Women & Their Friendship Quilts.

This book focuses on the following family surnames: Spaulding, Reed, Bagley, Haven, White, McWilliams, Cline, Fowler, Patch, Talcott and Cady.

About the author

Pieced from Ellen's Quilt: Ellen Spaulding Reed's Letters and Story by Linda Otto Lipsett, Halstead & Meadows Publishing, 224 pages, includes 16 full-color pages featuring Ellen's friendship quilt, as well as 37 nineteenth-century photographs important to Ellen's story, CIP/LC 91-16329, ISBN 0-9629399-0-0, $13.95.

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