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Top By: Vary, Matilda
Quilted By: Vary, Matilda
Period: 1850-1875
Location Made: United States
Project Name: Michigan Quilt Project
Contributor: Michigan State University Museum
ID Number: 85.0890
Layout Format: Block pattern
Fabrics: Cotton
Construction: Hand Applique
Quilting Techniques: Hand quilting
Other Notes: This quilt was made between 1870-80 by Matilda Godfrey Vary (my husbands grandmother). It had been unused until recently because no one especially liked the pineapple color signed Mary Vary. The Vary-Godfrey-McCrory families all settled in the Marshall-Ceresco-Battle Creek area, and like most Michigan settlers of the early 1800s the majority came from New York state, from families who in turn had moved from the coastal states as settlements moved westward. Isabella Godfrey (1816-1892) married David Godrey, Ceresco. They had two daughters Matilda Godfrey (1848-1924) and Isabelle Godfrey. Matilda (Tillie) married Edmund Vary and had two sons, Clarence Vary (m. E. Janette Phelps) and Edwin Vary (m. Mary Burns). Isabelle Godfrey married Edwin Allen and had a daughter Matilda Allen (m. Howard E. Coffin). Edwin Vary had two daughters, Anne Allison Vary (m. Gerald Robbins) and Janette Phelps Vary (m. Harry Kutten). Isabel McCrory Godfrey made each of her daughters, Matilda (Tillie) and Isabelle (Belle) identical "crazy quilt" couch throws, except that each has a panel near the center embroidered with the daughter's name. The quilts are of silks and velvets, with a wide band of wine colored velvet around the edge, backed with a rather heavy border. I came into possession of both quilts, because Matilda Allen Coffin had no children, so gave her mother's quilt (which says "Belle") to Emma Janette Vary for her grand-daughters, and to keep it in the family. This quilt is now in the possession of Anne Vary Robbins, my older daughter, who lives in Manitowoc, WI. The other quilt, "TIllie"'s I am keeping for my younger daughter Janette Vary Kutter, who is "Tillie's" great-grand-daughter. I am sure there must be dozens (hundreds!) of Michigan-made quilts - finding them and documenting would be a fascinating project. I am sure you have already checked such membership lists as D.A.R., Colonial Dames, various historical societies and churchs, etc. Mrs. S. said you were particularly interested in appliqued quilts - those of course had a great revival around 1920 when they were much in vogue; and of course they, in turn, would be 65-70 years old now, but might be easier to track down now in 1985. I hope some of this will be of interest to you - if you plan to be in Flint soon, perhaps you would like to see Tillie's quilt. Sincerely Mary B. Vary
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