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Quilts from the Michigan State University Museum Collections


Maker unknown
Provenance unknown
82” x 92”
MSUM 7515.2, Gift of John and Terri Dickey
Photo by Fumio Ichikawa, all rights reserved Michigan State University Museum

John and Theresa Dickey inherited this quilt from his mother, Ruth Simms Dickey, who inherited it from her mother Alice Bay Simms. Neither of them were quilters but they considered this a family quilt and speculated Alice's sister in Ohio made it.

Butterflies were a very popular motif for quilts in the 1930s. Advertisements in ladies' needlework magazines offered die-cut butterflies for and many appliqued butterfly quilts survive today. Pieced butterfly quilt patterns were printed in 1928 in Needlecraft and a butterfly pattern was also published by Eveline Foland in her syndicated column that was carried by newspapers all over America. Even though the pattern was widely distributed, very few pieced butterfly quilts survive. Synthetic dyes of the 1930s produced a wide range of fabric choices and made light, bright quilts like this one popular.

From American Quilts from Michigan State University Museum

This clipping was published in October of 1931 in the Kansas City Star.

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