Michigan Quilt Project
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Durkee-Blakeslee-Quarton-Hoard Family Quilt Collection

Floral Appliqué
Emma Quarton
Birmingham, Oakland County, MI
82" x 98"
Cotton with cotton filling
Photo by Pearl Yee Wong, all rights reserved Michigan State University Museum

Kit quilts became very popular during the 1930s. Kits for applique quilts would include fabrics preprinted with the shapes that were to be used in the applique design. The quilter cut out the shapes and appliqued them to a background fabric stamped with markers to gide the placement of the applique. The quilting lines also were commonly pre-marked on the background fabric with a series of small dots. Once the top was appliqued, the quilter would follow these printed dots to stitch the layers together. The fabrics used in this floral applique quilt reflect the bright pastel palette popularized during the 1920s. This kit quilt is further embellished with embroidery stitches.

Donor Betty Quarton Hoard, daughter of the maker of this quilt, has spoken about her own appliqued and embroidered quilts. She recalls when in 1940 she left home as a newlywed to follow her husband to his army base, her mother sent her away with a kit for a red and white applique quilt. Betty took about a year to finish the top, and went on to make six kit quilts. She sent the finished tops away to be quilted, some by a woman in California, some by a woman in northern Michigan, and some by a local quilt group.

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

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