Bozena Clarke


  Detroit, Michigan, United States    

Michigan Quilt Project

Bozena Wilhelmenia Clarke was a prolific quiltmaker and member of the Detroit News Quilt Club Corner. Her daughter Laura May Clarke was also a quiltmaker.
Bozena made quilts for many family members for special occassions and for gifts for birthdays, weddings, graduations, etc. Fabrics came from leftovers from sewing clothing and bags of scraps were bought from a store on Michigan Avenue. Fabric yardage was also purchased for backs and piecing when needed. Scraps not suitable for quilting were used to make rugs. Bozena Clarke's old frame was set up in the attic. Quilts were quilted there in the spring, when it wasn't too hot or too cold for the space. One spring Harriet remembers her mother and her grandmother Arnold set up the frame in the dining room and quilted during a visit from her grandmother.

Was the maker a woman, man or a group?


When was the quiltmaker born?


If the quiltmaker was married, what was the wedding date.

Date and place of death.


Ethnic background/tribal affiliation:


Educational background:

Formal, probably to 8th grade, but she continued to read and educate herself.

Religious affiliation:


Occupation (if retired, former occupation):

She worked for a tailor at the site of the former downtown Hudson's store, homemaker after marriage.

Quiltmaker's maiden name:


Father's Name:

Franc Motl (b. 9/10/1844, d. 3/10/1904)

Father's ethnic/tribal background:

Miller and Cooper

Mother's Name:

Anna Smely Motl (b. 6/5/1846, d. 9/21/1928)

Mother's ethnic/tribal background:

Housewife and mother. (Her father was Burgermeister of hometown in Bohemia.)

Spouse's/Spouses' name(s):

William George Clarke

Spouse's/Spouses' occupation:

1896 was a clerk in Gas Appliance Store. Later converted gas lights to electric lights. Sold lamps. In later years he sold insurance and retired at age 80.

Number of female children:


Number of male children:


When did the quiltmaker learn to quilt?

Age 50 or over

Why does/did the quiltmaker quilt:


Other reasons the quiltmaker makes/made quilts.

Probably learned quilting from the ladies at the church, but she was already a talented needleworker and tailor.

Name of quilting group(s):

The Rebecca Jane Circle of the Boulevard Congregational Church, located at the corner of Warren and West Grand Boulevard, Detroit, Michigan

Specialized activities/events of the quilting group:

This group sewed together to make items for church bazaars. They sold "heaps of Aprons" according to Harriet Clarke, Bozena's granddaughter. The sold finished quilts for $25-$30. The also quilted tops for others. They quilted once a week and had a potluck lunch.

Estimate the number of quilts made by this maker:

20-50 quilts

Does/did the quiltmaker sell quilts?


What price was charged for the quilts and when were they sold?

Only at the church bazaar.

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