Large Cross

March, 2016

Large Cross

Ernest B. Haight

Circa 1970
Made in David City, Nebraska
Gift of Darlene and Elmer Haight, 2014.072.0002 

Ernest Haight of David City Nebraska made more than 300 quilts between 1934 and 1986. A 1924 agricultural engineering graduate from the University of Nebraska, Haight’s quilts used time-saving methods.

He devised innovative ways to increase the accuracy and reduce the time it took to make a quilt using speed piecing and machine quilting. Haight’s speed-piecing used an assembly-line approach of sewing long strips of fabric side-by-side in the proper order, then cutting across the strips to make units of multiple squares, saving many hours and increasing consistency. His diamond-grid machine quilting patterned required 8-10 hours to complete for a bed-sized quilt.

He shared his techniques in the 1974 booklet, Practical Machine-Quilting for the Homemaker. Haight’s work was featured in the IQM’s 2013-2014 exhibition, “The Engineer Who Could: Ernest Haight’s Half-Century of Quiltmaking.