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The Sarah Haynes Quilt
Sarah Haynes
Gladwin, Gladwin County, Michigan
1892-1909
Silk
74” x 88”
MSUM 2006:114.1
Photo by Peter Glendinning, all rights reserved Michigan State University Museum


This dazzling quilt, made from 33,782 tiny silk triangles, was the 17-year task of quilter Sarah Haynes. Haynes, the wife of a Civil War veteran from Gladwin, Michigan, began the quilt in 1892. She purchased the silk in half-yard lengths, and, for each of the half-inch pieces of silk, she cut a tiny paper template. The quilt was then pieced with mathematical precision in the English manner, overhand, from the back of the quilt. Haynes finished the quilt with a maroon silk ruffle and silk-covered buttons at six-inch intervals. The result has been described as a "tribute to obsession."

In 1929 Sarah Haynes won a $15 First Prize at the Women's International Exhibition at Detroit's Convention Hall. Sometime later the magnificent quilt passed from the family's hands to a Detroit attorney in lieu of a fee. Before it was accessioned by the Michigan State University Museum, the quilt was a part of the Esprit Collection of Esprit, Inc., San Fransisco, California.

From Michigan Quilts: 150 Years of a Textile Tradition



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