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

Mary Schafer's friendship with Betty Harriman

One of Mary’s strongest friendships to grow out of the round robin exchanges was with Betty Harriman of Bunceton, Missouri who was introduced to Mary through Barbara Bannister, a mutual friend. Mary and Betty shared many of the same tastes in quilt patterns as well as an interest in history. They never met in person but their friendship flourished first through an exchange of letters and later through regular telephone conversations. The pair frequently would work on the same design, each creating their own interpretation of a pattern. Following Betty’s death in 1971, Mary purchased Betty’s unfinished quilts from the family. Bringing Betty’s projects to completion continued Mary’s tie to her friend.

Following Betty’s death, Mary began writing an article telling of Betty’s place in quilt history. She corresponded with Betty’s sister, Hulda H. McGinnis about Betty and her quilts during this period.

Variable Star pattern, templates, and block sent from Mary to Betty. Mary’s excellent drafting skills are evident in the Variable Star pattern she sent to Betty. This collection of pattern, template, and block would have been typical of materials exchanged between the pair.

Mary received this collection of Kansas City Star blocks from Betty’s estate.


Mary and Betty's Quilts
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Lee’s Rose and Buds Lee’s Rose and Buds Pennsylvania Dutch
Flower Garden
Flowering Almond Quilt Sunburst with
Mariner’s Compass


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