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.
Quilts from Michigan State University Museum
Lillian Stephan also made a Grandmother's
Flower Garden and a Star of