Michigan Quilt Project
Michigan Quilt Project

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The African American Collection

Stove Eye
Mary Atkins
Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, Michigan
Cotton, cotton/polyester
77” x 86”
MSUM 7132.1
Photo by Mark Eifert, all rights reserved Michigan State University Museum

Mary Atkins grew up in rural Arkansas and was about eight years old when she learned to quilt from her mother who made quilts for family use. According to Atkins, her mother taught her and her sisters to quilt in order to keep them out of mischief after they finished school or after doing their chores on the family farm. "There was no playing after work, but I'd sit down on a stool and begin piecing." Mary Atkins even found inspiration for this design when she saw a bedcovering in a television advertisement for waterbeds. It is unknown why the quilter titled this "Stove Eye."

From, Great Lakes, Great Quilts

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