Michigan Quilt Project
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The Mary Schafer Collection: A Legacy of Quilt History

Mary Shafer's First Kit Quilts

Mary as a young woman, c1949.
Photographer unknown, courtesy of Mary Schafer.
As a young woman, Mary’s interest in needlework was first nurtured when women in her Flint, Michigan neighborhood taught her sewing, tatting, and other needlework forms. In 1949, Mary purchased a kit to make a quilt but, after reading the instructions, the project seemed overwhelming and she returned the kit to the store. In 1952, Mary decided to try again. She purchased the “Rhododendron” kit quilt produced by Progress Company and, despite her earlier frustration, finished the quilt in six months. After immediately buying and completing a second appliquéd kit quilt, she was hooked on quilting.

Mary's first quilt "Rhododendron"
Photo by KEVA

Mary became known for her creative borders in quilts; the border in this kit quilt might have served as an inspiration.
Click for full view

Poppy Wreath

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