A Fabulous Football Quilt From 1939

quiltA few days ago, someone brought a quilt into the office that was made by his great-aunt. She made it in 1939 when she was 15 years old, living in the small town of Ajo, Arizona.

Fifteen years old!

She made it in honor of her high school football team, the Red Raiders.

It’s clearly been well-cared for and the workmanship is excellent, but it was the attention to detail that impressed me the most.

See for yourself: quarterback

All of the faces, shoelaces, names, and outlining is hand embroidery.


Nice kick!


The only one who sported a number, this was the quilt maker’s brother.
Note the mustache!

Can’t leave out the ref and water boy.
I love how the ref is flipping a coin!


Oh dear. Checking his fly?


The Majorette is quite lovely, don’t you think?


We even get a twirling baton! (Nice boots!)


Aw, poor Russell got tackled.
The stars and tweeting bird… that’s priceless.

As we admired the quilt, several of us wondered if any 15-year-old today would be able (or willing) to make something like this. Rather doubt it.

But keep in mind, this was 1939. No T.V., internet, Instagram, Tumblr or Twitter. Plus, she’s living in Ajo, Arizona. Have you ever been to Ajo?

However before we get too critical of our youth of today, how many of us are working on a project of this magnitude?

Maybe we should move to Ajo?


Sorry Ajo, I couldn’t resist. 😉

18 thoughts on “A Fabulous Football Quilt From 1939

    1. Yes, it certainly is! The co-worker who brought it in was taking it to a special town event this weekend, where it was going to hang as an exhibit. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was put in a museum one day.

  1. Wow! Now that is a skill. The Majorette and Ref are my favs, but what details.
    quilting done by today’s 15 year olds? Sure. I bet there’s a app for that.

  2. Football played with leather helmets before face masks led to a lot of stars and tweeting birds. We traveled through Ajo in April on our way back to Tucson from Organ Pipe N.M. I thought that its town square with restored railroad station was one of the finest I have ever seen.

    1. For so long these mining towns were just that – mining towns. But some of them are doing a good job trying preserve their history and give a sense of civic pride.
      Come to think of it, so does this quilt!

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