Whole Cloth Quilt
Edmund Bailey (1787-1873) and Mary Bigelow Bailey (1795-1879)
Connecticut; brought to Michigan in 1881
Wool and linen top, homespun wool back with wool filling
95” x 100”
MSUM 6614.1; Gift of Marjorie Suzanne Smith
Photo by Peter Glendinning, all rights reserved Michigan
State University Museum
Edmund Bailey and Mary Bigelow made this quilt during their courtship.
Together they quilted the designs that Edmund had drawn on the dark blue
top. The top, filling, and backing were made from wool that was grown,
spun, and woven on the family farm where the courtship took place. The
Baileys moved from Connecticut to Racine, Wisconsin and had eight children.
In 1881 their quilt was brought to Hastings, Michigan, by their granddaughter,
Malvina More Lombard, who was the grandmother of the donor, Marjorie Suzanne
Smith. It was displayed at the Barry County Fair in 1930.
The top consists of two large pieces of solid-blue wool and linen fabric,
often called linsey-woolsey, and the backing is composed of four pieces
of solid-brown wool homespun. The quilting designs include a central flower
basket surrounded by scalloped feathers, tulips, daisies, and pineapples
against a background of parallel diagonal lines.
Photos courtesy of Marjorie Suzanne Smith