Kaziah North Bathurst made this cotton quilt as a gift to her stepson, Samuel Harvey Bathurst. The carefully pieced baskets with their appliquéd handles contain scraps from the dresses of Samuel’s mother, Emily Susan Bathurst (1833-1869). Samuel was born in Washington County, Iowa, in 1853. He farmed and was a lifelong resident of Adair County, Iowa, until his death in 1937.
Thirty pieced and appliquéd 7 ½-inch blocks in the “Basket” pattern alternate with plain white blocks. These are framed by a 5 ½-inch white border. The quilting patterns include feathered circles and undulating ivy vines, with pairs of birds between the baskets in the outer row. Each bird is in profile with its head turned to the back, revealing an eye embroidered in black cotton thread.
Born in Pennsylvania in 1841, Kaziah (Keziah) North was living in Iowa with her family by 1860. At age 30, Kaziah married Roland Curtin Bathurst, a widower with eight children of which Samuel was the eldest. Kaziah and Roland had three more children. According to family history, Kaziah made a quilt for each of her eight stepchildren using fabrics from their mother’s dresses. She also made quilts for the three youngest children, Roland, Pearl, and Iva Gay, with fabrics from her own dresses. Kaziah’s husband, Roland, died in 1900, and she died in 1922. Both are buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Atchison County, Kansas.
Samuel’s daughter, Effie, donated his quilt to the Museum in memory of her father, and as a tribute to Kaziah who used her quilting expertise to keep memories alive for both her children and stepchildren.