Michigan Quilt Project
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Quilts Made in Michigan

Signature Redwork
Members of the Methodis Episcopal Church
Ishpeming, Marquette County, Michigan
81 3/4” x 81 1/2”
MSUM 2006:128.1
Gift of Walnut Creek Historical Society
Photo by Pearl Yee Wong, all rights reserved Michigan State University Museum

This quilt includes the names of more than 400 church members who contributed money to the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Ishpeming, Michigan. The names are placed around a center block commemorating the congregation’s newly built church building. The majority of surnames are Cornish, reflecting one of the ethnic groups represented in the mining population of Michigan’s western Upper Peninsula.

The Methodist Episcopal Society of Ishpeming, Michigan held their services in a schoolhouse from 1867 until their first church was built in 1869. A foundation for a new church was laid in 1891 on North Third Street, but economic conditions and labor problems halted the project, and instead Ishpeming Greenhouses was eventually constructed on the foundation. Later, a new church was built on the site of the original church at Division and Second streets. The new church was completed in 1903 and was known as the First Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1955, the church was renamed Wesley Methodist Church following a merger with another congregation. The church building depicted on the quilt was razed in 1972 following a fire. Wesley Methodist Church can currently be found on Hemlock Street in Ishpeming.

By Mary Worrall from Redwork: A Textile Tradition in America, exhibit.

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