Laura May Clarke, Bozena Vilhemina Clarke
Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan
Top made by Laura in 1931, quilted by Bozena in 1932
71 1/2" x 84 1/2"
MSU Museum Accession 6119.16
Photos by Fumio Ichikawa, all rights reserved by
the MSU Museum
Ruby Short McKim whose patterns througout the 1920s and 1930s were syndicated
in newspapers, created this "Flower Garden" design. The Clarkes
likely saw it in the Detroit Free Press. The "Flower Garden"
quilt features some unique construction techniques, including one popular
in the 1930s in which flower designs were first drawn and colored onto
blocks with crayons and then set with a hot iron. In the McKim Studios
1930-1931 issue of Designs Worth Doing, an advertisement lists
the price of a sixteen-color set of wax crayons needed for this technique
as fifteen cents. The use of green pearl cotton or embroidery floss as
quilting thread is unusual as well. This heavier thread makes the quilting
lines very prominent. The design quilted in the border represents a picket
By Mary Worrall, excerpted from American
Quilts from Michigan State University Museum.