Michigan Quilt Project
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Quilts Made in Michigan




Floral Sampler
Margaret Nuttall
Arenac County, Michigan
c1920
Cotton with wool filling
72 1/2” x 79 1/2”
MSUM 7609.1, Gift of Dee Bailey
Photo by KEVA, all rights reserved Michigan State University Museum

Margaret Atkinson Nuttall passed the quilt to her daughter Clara Nuttall Greenlee who passed it to her daughter Diane (Dee) Nuttall Bailey, who remembers her family this way:

 

This quilt was on my bed when I was a child. I was 12 when "Grammy" died. She was a special and precious part of my childhood, spending hours telling me stories of the farm, teaching me to bake, sharing her love of animals and nature. I knew the words to "O Canada" before I learnded the "Star Spangled Banner". Every afternoon she had a "proper tea" with her own china pot and silver tea ball. I can picture her sitting in her rocker making a rag rug. I still hear her voice with the Canadian accent she never lost. After she died, the quilt was a tangible reminder of her, and I often ran my fingers over the stitches in each flower, trying to decide which was my favorite.

Even though I have never lived in Michigan, my roots are firmly embedded in Arenac County. I spent summers with my aunts and uncles and several times visited the farm.

Maple Grove Stock Farm was almost entirely self-sufficient. There was a dairy herd, sheep, pigs and chickens. The workhorses were half Cleveland Bay and Percheron, raised and trained there. There was an apple orchard and a sugar bush. In the late 1800s Chautaquas were held in the maple grove. The first pure bred Holstein bull in that part of Michigan was imported by my grandfather.

In 1918 he died in the Influenza epidemic. He was only in his 40s. My grandmother raised 5 children and worked that farm with the help of hired men. I cannot imagind how hard she must have worked.
My grandparents, aunts, and uncles are interred in Maple Ridge Cemetary, about a mile from the farm. Last summer I placed my parents' ashes there. They are together in the Michigan they all loved so.



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