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The Clarke Family Quilt Collection


Flower Garden
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"
Cotton
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 fence.

By Mary Worrall, excerpted from American Quilts from Michigan State University Museum.



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