The Story Behind the Pinecone Patchwork Quilt

Maggie Lowrie Locklear
Maggie Lowrie Locklear

Maggie Lowrie Locklear (1869 February 15, 1931)

Maggie Lowrie, the first child of Henry and Rhoda Lowrie, was true to her bloodline: she was vivacious, very intelligent, and possessed, what was regarded as a “phenomenal” work ethic. These were the qualities that exemplified her as Henry and Rhoda’s daughter. 

During the early 1900s, she was inspired to create what Lumbee people today treasure as the “Pinecone Patchwork” quilt. Composed of 30 “pinecone patches,” the quilt displays over 30,000 intricate folds that create the patchwork quilt. Utilizing typical quilting material of the time - she repurposed her husband’s old work pants, shirts, her dress and tattered aprons, and North Carolina homespun fabric to create the patchwork quilt. Maggie also included another North Carolina hallmark with rounded edges on the quilt.

The precision of her hand is hailed by the National Quilt Museum as one of the finest ever seen. During her life, the quilt quickly gained a reputation for its magnificence and the legacy carried forward to the family that inherited it. Over the years, people consistently asked to view the quilt and marveled at the sewing and composition. The same for today.

During her life, Maggie knew that she had created something very beautiful, but she may have never dreamed of the significance it would have for her Lumbee people. Her legacy, stitched in a remarkable quilt, continues to inspire for over a century and well into the future.

Maggie Lowrie, we honor your memory and the beautiful heirloom you left to your people.  

Pinecone Patchwork Quilt