Thursday, September 10, 2009

Collecting Quilt Motifs....Cowboy Quilts

Cowboy Quilts

Well Pilgrim, glad you stopped by my blog for a visit, but before we begin I’d like to introduce you to my favorite cowboy. This former wrangler turned sodbuster is Keith Wildemuth (minus his horse Jackie) and he has been my husband and partner for over 28 years.

Keith and I are children of the 1950s and 1960s who grew up watching and loving westerns. We both have fond memories - him in the country and me in the city - of watching the Wonderful World of Disney and Bonanza on Sunday night and don’t even get us started about Saturday night and Gunsmoke. Did you know James Arness has a web site and that fans can e-mail him ( Did we? Yes, we emailed Mr. Arness because we wanted him to know how much we enjoyed his show, his work, and how much Matt Dillon (my dad used to call him Matt Drill-em), Festus, Miss Kitty, and Doc were a part of our childhood memories. Gunsmoke, pizza from a box, Pepsi (our own bottle that we did not have to share with our siblings), and Saturday Night at the Movies with a John Wayne flick gives you an idea of what we considered fun in those days.

All right maybe your memories go back a little farther than Gunsmoke to guys like Gene Autry or Roger Rogers? Raise your hand if you remember going to see John Wayne at the movie drive-in or maybe Tom Mix at an early sit-down theater. Come on if you don’t remember anyone else you have to remember Rawhide and Rowdy Yates, whatever happened to that guy? Let’s ask Clint Eastwood, maybe he will know.

Well let’s get rolling rolling rolling and get this blog a movin’ on to the topic that you came to read about … quilts. I love cowboy quilts and I have a few of them. They are the one quilt motif that my husband will actually set down his newspaper for and take a real interest in even during a Packer vs. Bears game – now that is something.

LeeWard Mills and LeeWards (1950-1983) featured four different cowboy quilt kits in their catalogs. (Notice I say featured, not in-housed designed and produced.)

Ride ‘em Cowboy

LeeWards Mills
Catalog 15 1953
Catalog 16 1954
Catalog 17 1954-55
Catalog 18 1955
Catalog 20 1956

Round-Up Time (With the words Round-Up Time embroidered on the quilt)

Catalog 21 1956-1957
Catalog 22 1957
Catalog 23 1957-58
Catalog 24 1958
Catalog 31 F/W 1961-62

Round-Up Time (Same design, but without the words Round-Up Time embroidered on the quilt)

Catalog ?? Xmas Sale 1961
Catalog 32 S/S 1962
Catalog 32F S/S Sale 1962
Catalog 32F Spring 1962
(Yes, there are two 32F catalogs)
Catalog 33 F/W 1962
Catalog 33F Xmas Sale 1962
Catalog 35 F/W 1963
Catalog 35F Xmas Sale 1963
Catalog 36 S/S 1964
Catalog 37 S/S Sale 1964
Catalog 44 S/S 1966
Catalog 46 F/W 1966

Little Mavericks

Catalog 34 S/S 1963
Catalog 34F S/S Sale 1963

Side Note

Westerns were the most popular genre of TV show in the 1950s and 1960s. Remember these:

The Adventures of Jim Bowie
The Adventures of Kit Carson
The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin
Alias Smith and Jones
Annie Oakley
Bat Masterson
The Big Valley
Bret Maverick
The Chisholms
The Cisco Kid
Death Valley Days
Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater
F Troop
The Gene Autry Show
Guns of Paradise (originally, Paradise)
The Guns of Will Sonnett
Harts of the West
Have Gun – Will Travel
The High Chaparral
Hopalong Cassidy
How the West Was Won
The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp
The Lone Ranger
Paradise (later Guns of Paradise)
The Rifleman
The Roy Rogers Show
The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Show
Stoney Burke
The Virginian
Wagon Train
Wanted: Dead or Alive
The Wild Wild West

Special Note: I would be interested in hearing from anyone who collects cowboy quilts. Contact Susan Wildemuth

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