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Quilts from the Michigan State University Museum Collections

Whole Cloth Quilt
Edmund Bailey (1787-1873) and Mary Bigelow Bailey (1795-1879)
Connecticut; brought to Michigan in 1881
ca. 1812-1813
Wool and linen top, homespun wool back with wool filling
95” x 100”
MSUM 6614.1; Gift of Marjorie Suzanne Smith
Photo by Peter Glendinning, all rights reserved Michigan State University Museum

Edmund Bailey and Mary Bigelow made this quilt during their courtship. Together they quilted the designs that Edmund had drawn on the dark blue top. The top, filling, and backing were made from wool that was grown, spun, and woven on the family farm where the courtship took place. The Baileys moved from Connecticut to Racine, Wisconsin and had eight children. In 1881 their quilt was brought to Hastings, Michigan, by their granddaughter, Malvina More Lombard, who was the grandmother of the donor, Marjorie Suzanne Smith. It was displayed at the Barry County Fair in 1930.

The top consists of two large pieces of solid-blue wool and linen fabric, often called linsey-woolsey, and the backing is composed of four pieces of solid-brown wool homespun. The quilting designs include a central flower basket surrounded by scalloped feathers, tulips, daisies, and pineapples against a background of parallel diagonal lines.

Mary Bigelow

Edmund Bailey
Photos courtesy of Marjorie Suzanne Smith

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