Tobacco Flag Quilt
Chris Brumbaugh’s Great Grandmother
Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum
One of the original 101 quilts donated by Eugenia Mitchell of Golden, CO, to start the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum.
Tobacco Flag Quilt; predominant colors: red, yellow, green, blue with rose colored twill cotton backing fabric. Made up of varying sized tobacco premiums.
The Colorado Quilt Council, in documenting this quilt, described tobacco flags as “premiums given to tobacco users circa 1915 or earlier.” These premiums generally used as the subject flags from countries around the world. Many quiltmakers collected the flags and made quilts from them. The flags in this quilt are embroidered together to form the quilt top. The quilt includes twelve flags at 11′” x 18″, fifty-nine flags at 5 1/4″ x 8″, and twenty-four Indian designs. The accession records on the Tobacco Flag Quilt include a sample of a reproduction flannel fabric of the premiums, provided in 1996 to the museum by Mrs. Billie Dyer, who purchased the fabric from the R & R Quilt Shop in Amarillo, Texas.
The fabric includes the following description on the selvedge: “During the early 1900′s until about 1925, flannel flags were offered as a premium in cigar boxes. The flags were from all of the nations at that time. quilters liked to collect the flags, and sew them into quilts, mostly joined and tied, rather than quilted. We hope you enjoy the flags, and make a historical quilt for your heirs. Judy Rothermel.”
Ownership/History: Made from tobacco premiums in 1915 by Barbara Brumbaugh’s grandmother for her first grand child before birth. Tobacco flags were premiums in cigar boxes offered to tobacco users c. 1915 or earlier. RMQM founder Eugenia Mitchell bought the quilt in the late 1960′s. Reportedly, the owner had to sell it for grocery money ($60.00). Barbara Brumbaugh was married to the sheriff of Idaho Springs, CO. Eugenia Mitchell may have purchased the quilt from Chris Brumbaugh. LocMade: unknown
How cool is this?
Pretty cool! Love your blog, btw. What a gorgeous art nouveau quilt you’re making!