82” x 92”
MSUM 7515.2, Gift of John and Terri Dickey
Photo by Fumio Ichikawa, all rights reserved Michigan
State University Museum
John and Theresa Dickey inherited this quilt from his mother, Ruth
Simms Dickey, who inherited it from her mother Alice Bay Simms.
Neither of them were quilters but they considered this a family
quilt and speculated Alice's sister in Ohio made it.
Butterflies were a very popular motif for quilts in the 1930s. Advertisements
in ladies' needlework magazines offered die-cut butterflies for
and many appliqued butterfly quilts survive today. Pieced butterfly
quilt patterns were printed in 1928 in Needlecraft and a butterfly
pattern was also published by Eveline Foland in her syndicated column
that was carried by newspapers all over America. Even though the
pattern was widely distributed, very few pieced butterfly quilts
survive. Synthetic dyes of the 1930s produced a wide range of fabric
choices and made light, bright quilts like this one popular.
Quilts from Michigan State University Museum