Susan W. Churchill


  Three Oaks, Michigan, United States    

Susan Churchill (center) used her prolific quiltmaking skills to furnish her boarding house.

David Savage, great-grandson of the quiltmaker, has preserved the history of the 16 quilt tops, the complete quilt, the 2 sets of blocks, the pillow top, and the set of miscellaneous blocks he inherited in 1974 from his aunt, Fanny Angeline Savage Sparling. According to Savage,

Susan Wagner Churchill was born on Feb. 23, 1834 in Dayton, Michigan....[and] lived in Three Oaks from 1870 until her death in 1918. Susan Churchill ran a boarding house [and a photography studio] in Three Oaks...It was my understanding that while Susan Churchill ran the boarding house, quilts were used extensively. Both of Susan's daughterss, Mary Florentine (Tina) Churchill (1856-1917) and Sara Ida Churchill Savage (1858-1928), lived in Three Oaks from 1870-1875 until their deaths...The helped with the quilts at times.

Savage made note of his great-grandmother's thriftiness in recycling the utility quilts: "As the tops became worn, a new top was attached to the existing quilt saving the need for more filler and back."

One of the Churchill quilt tops is a Crazy that incorporates a candidate's ribbon from the campaign of Benjamin Harrison, who became president in 1888; two John Deere Plow trademark ribbons from Moline, Illinois; and a ribbon from the Warren Featherbone Company founding in Three Oaks in 1888.



Fanny's Fan
Susan Wagner Churchill
Three Oaks, Michigan
Private Collection

This particular tied quilt, comprises 72 pieced 9" x 9" blocks. Usually such patterns contain six or eight blades in the fan; this one contains seven. Although mostly sewn by hand, it does include some machine stitching.

Was the maker a woman, man or a group?


When was the quiltmaker born?


Date and place of death.


Religious affiliation:


Occupation (if retired, former occupation):

Boarding house operator and photo studio

Where was the quiltmaker born?

Dayton, Michigan (MI), United States

Quiltmaker's maiden name:


Number of female children:


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