Michigan Quilt Project
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Quilts Made in Michigan

Nine Patch variation
Mercie Bell Choate
Jackson, Jackson County, Michigan
Cotton, wool, velvet
72” x 85”
MSUM 6030.2, Gift of Lura Jean Harbaugh
Photo by Peter Glendinning, all rights reserved Michigan State University Museum

Mercie Bell Choate received help on this quilt, which was made as part of her wedding trousseau, from Hattie Kelley Choate, her mother, and Mary Reed Hill, her future husband's grandmother. According the to a 1926 Jackson Citizen Patriot article entitled, "Jackson Woman, 90 Years Old Today, Is Believed to Be The Champion Quilter of Michigan,"

The honor of being the champion quilter of Michigan, if not of the United States, is probably held by Mrs. Mary Reed Hill, 231 Rockwell Street, who is quietly celebrating her ninetieth birthday today.

During the past eight years Mrs. Hill has completed 306 quilts, 32 of this number having been finished since last September.

If a record had been kept of the work previously accomplished, the total would indeed be a large one, as Mrs. Hill has been quilting ever since she can remember. In fact, it was as a girl in her early home in Erie County, N.Y., that she learned the art of quilting from her mother, but it was not until about 20 years ago, when she was past the allotted three score and ten years, that Mrs. Hill's industry assumed such large proportions.

It was the exquisite workmanship on a quilt given as a wedding present, at a large and fashionable wedding in Detroit, that launched her on this form of needlework.

Mercie Bell's mother Hattie made a Crazy Quilt.

From Michigan Quilts: 150 Years of a Textile Tradition

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