Fan quilt, creator unknown, but possibly Laura Jane Jackson (b. 1897, d. 1991), the mother of Leete Jackson, Jr. Circa 1940.
Gift of Dayle Sillerud, TTU-H2015-076-001.
Football Hero’s Quilt
By Marian Ann J. Montgomery, Ph.D.,
Curator of Clothing and Textiles, the Museum of Texas Tech University
A Fan pieced block pattern quilt came into the collection of the Museum of Texas Tech University in 2015. The donor found it at an estate sale in Lubbock and noticed that it bore the name “Leete Jackson.” For football enthusiasts the name Leete Jackson is as important in Lubbock as current football superstars Patrick Mahomes or Troy Aikman.
Leete Jackson, Jr. (b. 1922, d. 2012) was a football hero who lead his Lubbock High School team, also known as the “Cinderella Team,” to the Texas state football championship in 1939. After High School, he went onto play for Texas Technological College (known as Texas Tech University today) under the legendary coach, Pete Cawthon, but World War II interrupted Jackson’s football career at Tech. Jackson enlisted and served with distinction in the Marine Air Corps where he was a decorated torpedo bomber with The Red Devils in the Pacific theater. Following the War he returned to Tech and completed his degree.
The name of Lubbock football hero Leete Jackson Jr., is on the quilt given to the Museum.
The fabrics in the quilt date it to circa 1940. The dark colors and bright red seem masculine in nature. Jackson’s name is sewn onto the quilt on a small tag. Research in the community didn’t yield much information about who or why the quilt was made. It is a beautiful addition to the Museum’s holdings and a somewhat unusual version of the Fan pattern. Please take this as an example of why quilters need to put labels with the pertinent who, what and why on their quilts, so that future generations can enjoy the story.
Another lovely example of a fan quilt, made by Ethel Abernathy of Lubbock, Texas. Learn more about Ethel and her quilt story here.
Grandmother’s Fan Quilt by Ethel Abernathy, circa 1939.
Gift of Judith Abernathy, TTU-H2015-082-002
(Photo courtesy Museum of Texas Tech University)
Learn more about the Museum of Texas Tech University Textile Collections.