Indianapolis 500 Quilt


Quilt Index Record: 1E-3D-273C

Project Information

InstNameF003
Michigan State University Museum
InstProjNameF003a
Michigan Quilt Project
InstInvContrNumF004
13.0144
InstInvContrNumF004a
2009.171.18

Page 1

OwnerNameF010
Indianapolis 500 Quilt
AddNotesF132
On May 30, 1932, the day that Jeanetta Pearson Holder was born in Kentucky, racecars sped around the track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway about 250 miles to the north. The timing of Jeanetta’s birth was certainly a hint of things to come: she would grow up with a passion for auto racing, and as an adult, become that sport’s “Quilt Lady.” For nearly 35 years, Jeanetta has combined her love of auto racing and her sewing talents to create unique quilts for winners of the Indianapolis 500 and other auto races. As a little girl growing up on a Kentucky farm, Jeanetta made her own small racecars out of tobacco sticks and lard cans which she “raced everywhere [she] went.” Jeanetta’s childhood creative streak soon extended to sewing. By the time she was 12, Jeanetta began sewing quilts, filling them with cotton batting from cotton she grew herself. As a young woman, Jeanetta started going to the race track. Soon she was speeding around an oval dirt track at the wheel of a 1950 Hudson at Beech Bend Park in Warren County, Kentucky. In the early 1950s, women racecar drivers were uncommon--and so was safety equipment. Jeanetta was dressed in a t-shirt and blue jeans for these regional races. Jeanetta soon left behind her experience as an amateur racecar driver for a career as a wife, mother, and decorator. She and her husband moved to Indianapolis in 1953. Jeanetta--who attended her first Indianapolis 500 race in 1950--remained a racing fan, collecting autographs from drivers whenever she had the chance. In the mid-1970s, a friend suggested that Jeanetta use her sewing talents to create a racing-themed quilt that included these signatures. That same year, Jeanetta presented the finished quilt to 1976 Indianapolis 500 race winner Johnny Rutherford. In the years since, Jeanetta has looked through her pile of fabric and embroidery thread and cut her own quilt design patterns out of newspaper to create over 75 racing-themed quilts. She has presented them not only to winners of the Indianapolis 500, but also races like the Pocono 500, the California 500 at Ontario, the Norton Michigan 500, and NASCAR’S Brickyard 400.
DateDataF006b
2013
QuiltTopF054
Holder, Jeanetta
QuiltedByF055
Holder, Jeanetta
RelnQuiltF007
Quilt owner
LocMadeF057a
Indianapolis
ProvStateF057d
Indiana (IN)
ProvCountryF057f
United States
DateQuiltF023
1976-1999
DateFinishF023b
1981

Page 2-Quiltmaker Information

ReasonsF060
Gift or presentation
PresUseF062
Museum collection
GenderF098
Female
CityF106a
Plainfield
CountyF106
Hendricks County
StateF107
Indiana (IN)
CountryF108
United States
BirthDateF099
05-30-1932
BirthplaceStateF098b
Kentucky
EnviroF104c
Rural
WhenQuiltF118
Age 11-19
NumQuiltsF123
more than 50

Page 3-Physical Description

TypeObjF008
Finished quilt
ShapeEdgeF013
Straight
PredomColorsF014
Black
Blue
Brown
Orange
Red
Yellow
White
OverallColorF14b
Multicolor
OverCondF015
Good/moderate use
TypeInscripF019
Message
ContInscripF020
MADE BY JEANETTA HOLDER/ TO BOBBY-UNSER/ THANKS FOR ALL YOU HAVE GAVE/ TO RACING. KNOWING YOU HAVE BEEN/ A JOY TO BE. I'M SURE RACING/ WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN THE SAME WITHOUT/ YOU. SO FROM ALL THE FANS AND ME/ THANKS/ "MUCH LOVE"/ THE QUILT LADY JNET
LayFormatF024
Block pattern
NumBlockF026
32
SizeBlockF027
18-19 in x 21 in
MedallionF031
40-41 in x 39-40 in
ArrangeBlockF028
Straight
SpacingF029
Side by side
BlockStyleF030a
Squares
NumBlockPatF030
2

Page 4-Physical Description continued

FiberTypesF035
Cotton or polyester blend
FabPrintF037
Checked
Floral
Print
Solid/plain
Striped
ConstrucF038
Machine Piecing
ConstrucF038b
Hand Applique
ConstrucF038g
Embroidery
EmbMatF039
Cotton thread
FabFiberTypesF040
Other
OtherFabF040a
Polyester
ColorBackingF040b
Blue or Navy
DescBackF043
Solid/plain

Page 5-Binding and Quilting

MatUsedF044
Cotton
FabStrucF045
Plain weave
ConstrucBindF046
Separate binding applied
WidthBindF047
half inch - one inch
MatUsedF048
Cotton or polyester blend
BattLoftF048a
Medium
QuiltTechF049
Hand quilting
ThrTypeF049a
Cotton/polyester blend
ThrColorF049b
White
NumStitchedF050
4 stitches per inch
DesignF052a
Outline
DesignF052c
None

Page 7-Owner Information

IdentPersonF006
Quilt owner
OwnershipF082
Private- Nonprofit Organization
OwnerNameF082a
The Henry Ford
OwnerCityF084
Dearborn
OwnerCountyF085
Wayne
OwnerStateF086
Michigan (MI)
OwnerCountryF086b
United States
AcquiredF058
Purchase
QuiltHistF059
Jeanetta Holder met and got to know many racecar drivers, especially Bobby and Al Unser. Bobby Unser’s 1981 Indianapolis 500 win became one of the most controversial finishes in racing history. Unser won the race, but was stripped of his win the following morning in favor of second place driver Mario Andretti. Since Jeanetta was to present the winning driver with a quilt the day after the race, she gave the 1981 quilt to Andretti. Unser was ultimately awarded the win in October 1981, after a lengthy appeals process. In the wake of this dispute and to mark his three Indianapolis wins (1968, 1975, and 1981), Jeanetta decided to make Bobby Unser this special quilt.
ReposFile
2009.171.18.jpg
1E-3D-273C-234-2009.171.18.jpg
462046
image/pjpeg
zoom
2009.171.18.choice to no auto correct.jpg
1E-3D-273C-235-2009.171.18.choice to no auto correct.jpg
491075
image/pjpeg
Detail 1
2009.171.18.d1.jpg
1E-3D-273C-618-2009.171.18.d1.jpg
765607
image/pjpeg
Detail 1 Caption
Cetner of quilt
Detail 2
2009.171.18.d4.jpg
1E-3D-273C-619-2009.171.18.d4.jpg
670705
image/pjpeg
Detail 2 Caption
Detail of the cetner of the quilt
Detail 3
2009.171.18.d3.jpg
1E-3D-273C-620-2009.171.18.d3.jpg
570170
image/pjpeg
Detail 3 Caption
Detail of one of the cars
Detail 4
2009.171.18.d2.jpg
1E-3D-273C-621-2009.171.18.d2.jpg
517665
image/pjpeg
Detail 4 Caption
Detail of inscripion
AccessF080
Restricted
CopyRestF080c
The Henry Ford

Data Verification

verify
yes
verifiedby
A.M.Messer
dateverified
10
28
2013
CE

Extra Fields

OwnerZipF087
48124
IfQownerF007b
Purchased the quilt
SourceOtherF006a
Museum Representative
EmbellTechF038f
Yes
ShapeCornersF013b
Rounded
OtherExDateF023d
1981

Historical and Cultural Information About this Quilt

IfQmakerF007a
Made entire quilt

Image Information

Contributing Institutions
MATRIX: Center for Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences Online at Michigan State University, Michigan State University Museum
Publisher
Quilt Index
Resource Type
StillImage
ImageTypeF076
Color
photocredit079a1
The Henry Ford
HolderF080a
The Henry Ford
CreditLineF080b
From the Collections of The Henry Ford
DistribRestF080d
The Henry Ford
DisplayResF080e
The Henry Ford
LicenseF080f
The Henry Ford

Detail Images


2009.171.18.d1.jpg
Cetner of quilt
2009.171.18.d4.jpg
Detail of the cetner of the quilt
2009.171.18.d3.jpg
Detail of one of the cars
2009.171.18.d2.jpg
Detail of inscripion

Additional Records

No additional records