Ruth Ebright Finley
(1884-1955)
Collector, author of Old Patchwork Quilts an the Women Who Made Them.
Inducted into The Quilters Hall of Fame in 1979.
Ruth Finley began her career in the newspaper world, but she soon focused on quilters. While living in
Ohio and later in New York, she traveled into the countryside interviewing quilters, collecting their
stories, and sometimes their quilts and quilt patterns. This fascination culminated in her well-known
book Old Patchwork Quilts and the Women Who Made Them, published in 1929. Excerpts from her
book were printed in several newspapers and magazines. An early feminist, she promoted quilting as a
women’s folk art; her carefully researched book still provides valuable information for quilt historians.
Her interest in patterns led her to design “The Roosevelt Rose” in 1938, in honor of President Franklin
D. Roosevelt.

Impressed with the editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book magazine, Sarah Hale, Finley wrote her second
book. The Lady of Godey’s Sarah Josepha Hale. She also co-authored two books about her
experiences of psychic phenomena: the first with her husband, Emmett Finley, Our Unseen Guest
(under pen names), and the second with Stewart Edward White, The Unobstructed Universe. She had
begun her own autobiography but died prior to its completion.