Laura Mooney, senior museum curator, came up with the Quilting for a Cause theme after studying the state's vast collection of quilts and learning the stories behind them.
The first fundraising quilts appeared in the 1830s at sanitary fairs - which raised money to improve sanitary conditions, especially for soldiers who often fell ill or died from dysentery and typhoid.
The fundraising quilts probably were a natural progression from other items women made and sold at the fair, Mooney
The museum exhibit features a Civil War quilt thought to have been sold at a Union sanitary fair in St. Louis.
At the center of the quilt is a signature of General Ulysses S. Grant, adjacent to a photograph of his
young daughter Nellie, who is said to have presided over the booth at the fair.
The practice of signing names to quilts began about 1840, Mooney
Autograph collecting was very popular in the early 1800s, Mooney
The church's Ladies Aid Society gave the quilt to its minister, rather than auction or raffle it off, Mooney said.
The majority of the fundraising quilts on exhibit are signature quilts, including a stunning flag quilt created by the Women in the Grand Island G.A.R.
(Grand Army of the Republic).
A quilt from Monowi features 238 names - although the small Nebraska town had only 123 people living there in 1930.
They must have solicited names from outside the town, Mooney