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The Mary Schafer Collection: A Legacy of Quilt History

Clamshell Quilt and Opening Wall of the Exhibit
Photo by Pearl Yee Wong

The Mary Schafer Collection: A Legacy of Quilt History
July 29-December 31, 2001
Opening Festivities Sunday, August 5, 1-4 P.M.

Mary Schafer and Betty Harriman quilts left to right: Pennsylvania Dutch Flower Garden,
Lee's Rose and Buds, Lee's Rose and Buds, and Flowering Almond.
Photo by Pearl Yee Wong

Photos show the exhibit during its installation in the Main Gallery of the Michigan State University Museum. It was supported in part by funds from Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs through the Michigan Traditional Arts Program. Additional support was provided by Kitty Clark Cole and Country Stitches. This exhibit is available through our Traveling Exhibit Service.

Bicentennial Quilts, left to right;
Queen Charlotte's Crown
, Spirit of '76,
Lafayette Orange Peel, Molly Pitcher.
Photo by Pearl Yee Wong

Follow Mary's journey from her first quilt to a passion that includes studying quilt history, antique quilt collecting, pattern swapping, and correspondence with pen pals around the country. Mary is one of a unique group of women who kept quilt studies alive after World War II and before the 1970s bicentennial revival of interest in quilts. Through Mary's letters and ephemera we'll meet noted quilt scholars like Florence Peto and Cuesta Benberry. Mary's special friendships with Betty Harriman and Gwen Marston are also highlighted.

Curator Mary Worrall with Mary Schafer
Photo by Pearl Yee Wong

Mary Schafer quietly passed away on Friday morning, December 22, 2006. Mary was a lifetime member of the Genesee Star Quilters (Flint area). Mary’s many honors include resolutions from Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Gov. John Engler, former Flint Mayor Woodrow Stanley and the Genesee County Board of Commissioners. Crossroads Village held a day in her honor in 1995 and she was given a Michigan Heritage Award in 2002.

On July 19-22, 2007 Mary Schafer will be inducted in the Quilter's Hall of Fame. The Quilters Hall of Fame recognizes the importance of Mary's early participation in the quilt pattern round robins of the 1960s and her extensive involvement in achieving historical accuracy in research materials.

Mary will join Lenice Bacon, Mary Barton, Cuesta Benberry, Shiela Betterton, Jinny Beyer, Georgia Bonesteel, Barbara Brackman, Kari Bresenham, Averil Colby, Nancy Crow, William R. Dunton, Amy Emms, Ruth Finley, Sally Garoutte, Joyce Gross, Jeffrey Gutcheon, Carrie Hall, Jonathan Holstein, Carter Houck, Marguerite Ickis, Michael James, Rose Kretsinger, Jean Ray Laury, Bonnie Leman, Ruby Short McKim, Patsy Orlofsky, Anne Orr, Florence Peto, Yvonne Porcella, Bets Ramsey, Grace Snyder, Bertha Stenge, Gail van der Hoof, Marie Webster, and Donna Wilder; with this outstanding honor.

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Exhibit End

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