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Crazy Quilt
Roe G. Van Deusen, designer;
Lois Van Deusen Darcus (1865-1926), piecer

Elsie, Clinton County, Michigan
Designed 1885-1887, pieced and finished 1887
Velvet and silk
65” x 74”
MSUM 6782.1; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Husted
Photos by Peter Glendinning, all rights reserved MSU Museum

According to family history, this quilt was made by teenager Lois Van Deusen for her father, Roe G. Van Deusen, whose initial is in the lower left-hand corner. Roe designed the stitches, which he drew along with floral drawings in a notebook entitled “Fancy Stitches for Crazy Work” and then asked Lois to duplicate in embroidered form. If her needlework did not perfectly copy his drawings, he reportedly made her take out the stitches and start over. Roe Van Deusen also was a contributor to the Elsie Sun, in which he had a regular column called “Old Saws.” Very little is known about his daughter except that she married James B. Darcus on April 27, 1891 and spent most of her married life in Ithaca, Michigan. The quilt and sketchbooks were passed down from Darcus to her daughter Ruth Darcus Husted and in turn to her son and quilt donor Clarence Husted.

"Fancy Stitches for Crazy Work" notebook

James and Lois (Van Deusen) Darcus and family.
Photo courtesy of Mr. And Mrs. Clarence Husted

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