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New on view in Heritage Hall: Cherry Quilt

The Quilters of St. Mary's Church

Lake Leelanau, Leelanau County, Michigan, 1989


The Quilters of St. Mary's Church in Lake Leelanau have worked as a group since the 1920s. Both quilting and church participation were long-established practices in the county. Many area quilters gathered neighbors to help them finish their quilts; they often made two identical quilts, donating one to the church and keeping the other for family use. Originally drawn together at these all-day quilting bees, members of The Quilters of St. Mary's Church learned piecing and quilting as young girls from mothers and grandmothers who were among Leelanau County's first white settlers.


In 1989, the Quilter's of St. Mary's Church received a Michigan Heritage Award.


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The MSU Museum's Great Lakes Quilt Center has evolved from the sustained and significant quilt-related activities and resources at the Michigan State University Museum and the museum's long-standing interest in and commitment to preserving and presenting traditional arts history.