Michigan Quilt Project
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The Clarke Family Quilt Collection

Laura May Clarke and Bozena Vilhelmina Clarke
Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan
Top made by Laura in 1933, quilted by Bozena in 1935
68 1/2" x 82"
MSU Museum Accession 6119.26.1
Photo by Fumio Ichikawa, all rights reserved by the MSU Museum

The Clarkes made this "Iris" quilt following a Mountain Mist pattern designed by Margaret Hays and published by the Stearns and Foster Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio. Stearns and Foster Co. heavily promoted their products to quilters. On the wrappers of their Mountain Mist cotton batting they printed patterns along with coupons which quilters could send in with a small fee to receive additional patterns. The company published an annual catalog of their designs, Quilt Patterns Old and New, that in the mid-1930s became known as The Mountain Mist Blue Book of Quilts. The company also encouraged stores to promote their batting with exhibits, demonstrations, and contests.

The Clarkes used solid-colored Peter Pan-brand cotton fabrics in the quilt. The quilt was appliquéd by Laura May in 1933 and quilted by Bozena in 1935. The pair also made two pillowcases decorated with cross-stitched needlepoint to go with the "Iris" quilt.

By Mary Worrall, excerpted from American Quilts from Michigan State University Museum.


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