Big Tree crib quilt

May, 2013

Big Tree crib quilt

Ernest B. Haight

Circa 1968
Made in Butler County, Nebraska
Gift of Nancy Bavor in honor of Jonathan Gregory, 2010.039.0001

Ernest Haight made several versions of the Big Tree quilt. This one happens to be crib sized. Ernest made it for his daughter, Mary Haight, to give to her friend Martha Sorenson when her son was born in 1968. Ernest and his wife, Isabelle, gave many quilts to neighbors and friends to recognize births, graduations, and weddings.

Big Tree includes two of Ernest’s trademark elements. First, it includes three sizes of the tree block in the design, arranged with the largest in the center and the smallest around the edges. He used this format with several different block designs also. Second, he outlined each block with 1/8” wide black strips to create a stained-glass window effect. Ernest started using thin, high contrast strips to articulate his designs in the 1930s.

Ernest made several full-sized Big Tree quilts. In one of them, he included an automobile and tunnel through the trunk of the largest tree in the center, just like the giant sequoia tree that once stood in the Mariposa Grove of Yosemite National Park. The tree collapsed in a wind storm in 1969.