Saving Signatures

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Signed quilts were inspired by autograph albums, a kind of keepsake that became widespread in the United States beginning in the 1820s. Visitors, friends, and loved ones were remembered in the book with an inspirational phrase or rhyme, sometimes a small drawing, and of course a signature. In fact, magazines such as the popular Godey’s Lady’s Book began offering messages and poems to use in autograph albums. And if you weren’t satisfied with your own handwriting, you could buy metal stencils or signature stamps to leave a better impression.

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