Thirteen Quilts–Lucky Us!

The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan is one of forty museums who have contributed quilt records to The Quilt Index as part of the Michigan Quilt Project (see a complete list here with links to quilts in each collection).

Included in the Henry Ford permanent collection are thirteen quilts made by Susan McCord (1829-1909), “…an ordinary Indiana farmwife with an extraordinary genius for quilt making.”

McCord’s quilts range in style from crazy quilts to an intricate hexagon mosaic to an original design of thirteen hand appliqued strips of vines. This text is included in all of McCord’s quilt records:

McCord, like other thrifty housewives of the era, sewed her quilts from fabric she had on hand, mostly clothing scraps. Her everyday life was filled with household and farm chores; her “scraps” of leisure time were filled with masterful quilt making. Susan and her husband Green McCord farmed an eighty-acre farm in McCordsville, Indiana. Here Susan McCord kept house, brought up her children, sewed clothing for her family, knitted accessories, practiced homeopathic medicine, read her bible through each year, participated in sewing bees, gardened, took care of the cows and chickens–and found time to make at least thirteen extraordinary bed quilts. McCord used traditional materials, techniques and patterns—but her considerable skill at manipulating fabric, color and design turned the traditional into something exceptional. McCord’s bed coverings stand as the extraordinary legacy of an otherwise little-known Indiana farmwife.

McCord Vine Quilt Top By: McCord, Susan Noakes Quilted By: McCord, Susan Noakes Period: 1876-1900 Date: 1880-1890 Location Made: McCordsville, Indiana (IN) United States Project Name: Michigan Quilt Project Contributor: Michigan State University Museum

Detail of McCord Vine Quilt


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance

This entry was posted in Quilt Index and tagged , , , by quiltalliance. Bookmark the permalink.

About quiltalliance

The Quilt Alliance is a nonprofit 501c3 organization established in 1993 whose mission is to document, preserve, and share our International quilt heritage by collecting the rich stories that historic and contemporary quilts, and their makers, tell about our nation's diverse peoples and their communities. In support of this mission, the Alliance brings together quilt makers and designers, the quilt industry, quilt scholars and teachers, and quilt collectors to further the following goals: To promote the understanding of the quilt as an important grassroots art form. To make information about quilts available to a broad public. To educate the public about the importance of documenting quilts and quiltmakers so that their stories will not be lost.

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