Bushman Reunion Day #4 The Elizabeth Degen Bushman Quilt

These last two months, a few of us have been working on this quilt to honor our dear grandmother, Elizabeth Degen Bushman.  We have this black and white picture of a bed coverlet she made many years ago and a few words about it.  We wish we knew more.

Bushman, Elizabeth Degen bedspread

Told by Evelyn McAffee by her cousin, Alonzo Rhodes:
Elizabeth was a hard working woman. She cared for her family and on the side nursed the sick, especially the mothers when their babies were born. She was a midwife and a doctor. They called her Godmother. She went to care for the sick any hour and at any time, day or night. She was not paid in money, just took what people would give her, vegetables or anything, and many times was paid nothing. She brought 357 babies into the world. During her spare time she would be at her spinning wheel spinning wool, flax or linen, and cotton, but there wasn’t much cotton at that time. Her husband raised sheep and the wool was taken up the mouth of American Fork Canyon and corded into rolls, then Grandma Bushman would spin it into yarn. Some times she would cord it herself. Her children’s cloths were made from the yarn she spun. She spun yarn for two bed spreads. It is now 1925 and the spread is over a hundred years old and the colors are beautiful yet. The one spread is among relatives in Pennsylvania, while my father and mother had the other one. When mother died, three years ago, Sylvia Bradshaw fell heir to this beautiful spread. She milked and fed cows. She milked most of the time and he fed them most of the time. She talked in tongues often and Elisha Davis’ mother would interpret them.

Here is the label we added to our quilt, which was displayed for sale during the reunion:

I was especially interested in and fascinated by the woven bed coverlets I saw displayed in many of the Old Nauvoo restored homes.  These gave me a better feel for the dyeing and weaving work Elizabeth did to make such a bed covering.


We finished binding our Elizabeth quilt our first day on the bus as we drove to Nauvoo.  It all came together beautifully and in the end it sold to Becky Shields for $800.  She presented the quilt to her brother, Nephi Bushman, our fearless reunion leader at the banquet this evening.

This is the “quilt-as-you-go” pattern used to make our reunion quilt:

My job was sewing, turning and machine quilting the blocks.

Patti Rascon assembled the blocks and Elizabeth Bushman added the borders.

We were pleased with the way it all came together!

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

Thank you for visiting! I hope you enjoy the things shared here.
This entry was posted in Family History, Quilting. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply