Ruth Lee


Angel Quilt

My grandmother was a very special lady. She always found the best in everybody. Quilting was just one thing she was involved in. She was a fantastic gardener, and wrote lots of neat poems about gardening. She made "pin money", by selling plants out of her garden. Grampa always said if he stood in one place long enough, she would have a vine growing up his leg.

One time I was there when he was upstairs looking for his old blue serge suit, hollering "Ruth!, Ruth! Where is my old blue suit!?" (He was gruff and had a temper). Her eyes widened, but with a bit of amusement, as she looked up from her handiwork - a braided rug which, (you guessed it), was comprised in part by the famous blue serge suit.

Back when fur was politically correct, she would restyle fur coats and make matching hats with the scraps. They were mostly the pillbox style. She would also make women's suits out of their husband's out-of-style suits.

She had a good creative eye. We used to tramp around the river banks and gather driftwood that she would use in her dried flower arrangements. She showed me how to make a whistle by placing a blade of grass between the knuckles of both thumbs and blowing between the thumbs.

Here is one of my grandmother's quilts based on the last words of her 5-year old son. He was dying of scarlet fever, and said "Momma, see the pretty white angel?" She had a dream later about it and based this quilt on it. The pink rose bush at the angel's hem (representing the family) is missing one rose bud, which the angel has picked.

This quilt, along with several others of Ruth Lee, is featured in the 6/92 issue of "Quilter's Newsletter Magazine"; "Patchwork Quilt" (Japanese); and a book called "Kansas Quilts & Quilters", by Barbara Brackman; and her "Grandmother's Flower Garden" quilt was featured in "The Twentieth Century's 100 Best American Quilts" (Ruth Lee was No. 17 on the list)

Carol Petersen

White Angel

Click above to view the full quilt.


Before my race is run,
Before the setting of my sun,
I pray that I may leave behind,
    something that is truly mine
A plain whereon no man hath trod,
Unmistakeably from the hand of God.

And all who may chance to see
   this something that is of God and me,
May see His face in every line,
And know His hand is guiding mine.
And into every subtle phase,
   I weave a prayer, a song of praise.

               Ruth Adams Lee

Click the quilt below to view a full version.

This quilt was selected as one of "The Twentieth Century's 100 Best American Quilts"<

Click the pictures below to view full versions.
Ruth Lee designed and made these original theme quilts.

Womenfolk - The Quilting Arts