To celebrate International Women’s Day, we are excited to share the story of one of our coverlets. It took four women and over 70 years to complete the queen-size coverlet and add it to the Emily Reynolds Historic Costume Collection.
The coverlet is constructed from 3,755 hand-sewn, gathered fabric circles called yo-yos. It was started in the 1940s by Evelyn Vogel who completed 97 squares of 25 yo-yos each before she died. The squares next went to Mavis Askland in Fargo who sewed over one thousand cream-colored yo-yos and used them to connect the blocks. After running out of fabric, Mavis set the coverlet aside until she gave it to her friend JoAnne Gauper, who completed the coverlet in 2014 with an additional 320 yo-yos.
Following in a long tradition of women using quilts and coverlets in fundraising, JoAnne donated the completed coverlet to Olivet Lutheran Church’s 2014 silent auction to support the YWCA Women’s Shelter and to purchase supplies for the church’s quilting groups. The auction winner, Sharon Larson, recognized the need to preserve the coverlet and its history and in 2015 donated it to the Emily Reynolds Historic Costume Collection.