Michigan Quilt Project
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Quilts Made in Michigan

Dresden Plate
Lillian Stephan and Carolyn Steinbach Crusoe
Virginia Park, Michigan
86” x 87”
MSUM 5934.2, Gift of Dr. Winton E. Stephan
Photo by Fumio Ichikawa, all rights reserved Michigan State University Museum

Dr. Winton Stephan inherited this quilt from his mother, Lillian Westerhof Stephan, and donated it to the MSU Museum. In an interview, Dr. Stephan recalled that he and his brother Kenneth each slept under quilts his mother made, and he also remembered that his mother's great aunt Carolyn Steinbach Crusoe helped his mother make quilts. For this quilt, Lillian made the "Dresden Plate" blocks and Carolyn appliquéd them to the background fabric. Dr. Stephan thinks that Carolyn put the blocks together with purple alternating squares, as it was a color choice his mother would not have made. Both Lillian and Carolyn were excellent sewers and preferred to work together and quilt their own pieces. Dr. Stephan recalls a quilting bee with the neighbors that "didn't go over too well." After the neighbors left that quilt was "torn apart" because the mother wasn't satisfied with the work.

From American Quilts from Michigan State University Museum

Lillian Stephan also made a Grandmother's Flower Garden and a Star of Bethlehem quilt.

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