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


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Amy Milne headshot

Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance

How To Trim Flying Geese Without A Specialty Ruler

If you don’t have a Bloc-Loc ruler, you may find trimming these flying geese challenging. But by following these steps, you should be able to get four accurate geese in each color!

First, line up your ruler so the point of the flying geese unit will be trimmed exactly ¼” above the point. Try to line the unit up as straight as possible on the other three sides.

Next, flip the unit over. Line up the edge you just cut on the 2” line of the ruler as shown below, and trim the excess from the top.

Flip the unit right side up again. Line the lower left corner up with the 3 ½” mark on your ruler as shown above. Trim the excess on the right.

Finally, flip the unit over again so the point is pointing towards the 2” line. Align the left edge of the unit with the 3 ½” ruler mark as shown above and trim the excess on the right. Your flying goose unit is now ready to be pieced into your block!

Quilt Documentation Tip

 Andrea’s block story is all about the importance of quilt guilds. Quilting can feel solitary, but guilds bring us together. It’s a topic of conversation that was discussed with two Birthday Block of the Month Designers in a recent Textile Talk where the participants all shared emotional stories about their love for their guilds. 

Did you know that your guild can document your quilts as a group? Consider hosting a quilt documentation day in your guild! Follow these instructions and have members share three minute stories about one meaningful quilt in the Quilt Alliance’s signature Go Tell It documentation program. You could even host a screening so all of your members can see the videos! Get in touch at:

See You in October for Month Seven!

Thank you so much to everyone who has participated in the Quilt Alliance’s Birthday Block of the Month so far! Our designer for next month, the seventh block we’re making together, is Bonnie Hunter herself! 

Be sure to tag @quiltalliance and @3rdstoryworkshop on Instagram with your block photos this month, and use the hashtag #QuiltAllianceBOM. And leave any questions about this month’s block in the comments below!


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