Michigan Quilt Project
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The African American Collection

Hog Feed Sack One Patch
Julie Copeland (piecer) and Ailene McKeller (quilter)
Magnolia, Alabama
48” x 72”
MSUM 7140.1; Gift of Martha Gilbert
Photo by Peter Glendinning, all rights reserved Michigan State University Museum

Martha Gilbert, the donor of this quilt, recalls sitting on the lap of her grandfather, a Cherokee Indian with "a very long beard," while her grandmother, Julie Copeland, carefully bleached out hog feed sacks to be used to make quilt tops. The sacks used in this pieced quilt were hand dyed and arranged in strip fashion, then stuffed with field cotton by Copeland and Gilbert's mother, Ailene McKeller. Both were wives of Alabama farmers and were homemakers and avid quiltmakers. They passed their knowledge and love of quilting on to Martha Gilbert, who moved to Muskegon, Michigan, in 1962, and who, at the age of 80 still spent 24 hours a week quilting in her living room.

From, Michigan Quilts: 150 Years of a Textile Tradition.

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