String Quilt; String squares





Object label

Viney Crawford (b. 1912)
Idlewild, Lake County, Michigan
Collection of Michigan State University Museum, acc.#6520.1

Essay about this quilt.

Within the African-American community, Nine-Patch and Strip pattern quilts done in the String technique are most often cited by quilters as the first ones they learned and continue to prefer. Viney Crawford, of Idlewild, made this String quilt especially for the Michigan State University Museum in honor of the Yates Township Senior Center in Idlewild. Idlewild, located in a rural area of Michigan's lower peninsula, was developed in 1912 as a resort for the growing numbers of middle-class African-Americans. In its heyday, the resort hosted a who's who list of African-Americans prominent in all walks of life and was a destination for many of some of the nation's most notable performers. An African-American Quilt Discovery Day was held in Idlewild in July, 1986.

From, Great Lakes, Great Quilts.

Who documented this quilt?

Michigan Quilt Project; Michigan State University Museum Collection

Where are the records for this quilt housed?

Michigan State University Museum

Michigan Quilt Project Number


If this quilt is owned by a museum, enter the accession number here


What is the name of the quilt given by the owner?

String Quilt

What is the pattern name that it is commonly used among quilt makers and historians for this quilt?

String squares

Are there any stories about the quilt maker?

Crawford doesn't use store-bought patterns, but instead makes them up as she goes along, putting scraps together in a way that makes a pleasing design. "I don't make really fancy quilts, just something put together."

Who made the quilt top?

Crawford, Viney

Who did the quilting?

If you are the quilt owner, how did you acquire this quilt?

Received as a gift






Michigan (MI)

Choose the time frame that best describes when the quilt was made.


When was the quilt started?


When was the quilt finished?


This quilt was made to be used as a


Please explain other reasons why this quilt was made.

This quilt was made for the MSU Museum in honor of Yates Township Senior Citizens Center, Idlewild. She was taught by her mother.

How is this quilt used?

Museum collection

Choose the gender of the quilt maker(s).


Where does/did the quilt maker live (city)?


Where does/did the quilt maker live (county)?


Where does/did the quilt maker live (state)?

Michigan (MI)

What is the quilt maker's maiden name?


What is the quilt maker's birthdate?


What is/was the ethnic or tribal background of the quilt maker?

African American

What is the quilt maker's father's name?

Green, J. Curley

What is the quilt maker's mother's name?

Green, Callie Washington

How did the quilt maker learn to quilt?

From Relative

Why does/did the quilt maker make quilts?


If you chose Other, explain the why the quilt maker quilts.

While she was growing up, her family had to make quilts because they couldn't afford to buy them.

What type of quilted object is this?

Finished quilt

How wide is the quilt?


How long is the quilt?


What is the shape of the quilt edge?


Choose the best color scheme description for the quilt.

Bright or primary colors

What is the best description of the quilt's condition?

Excellent/like new

What is the layout (or set) of the quilt?

Block pattern

How many blocks are in the quilt?


What size are the blocks?

13/2" x 13 1/2"

How are the blocks arranged in the quilt?


How are the blocks spaced in the quilt?

Separated by plain sashing

What is the width of the sashing?


How many borders are on the quilt?


Describe the style of the borders.

1 1/2"

What piecing method was used to make the quilt top?

Machine Piecing

What fibers were used to make the quilt back?

Cotton or polyester blend

How many pieces of fabric were used to make the quilt back?


What construction technique was used to finish the edge of the quilt?

Front turned to back

How are the quilt layers held together?

Tied or tufted

How did the quilt maker acquire the fabric for this quilt?

Sewing scraps

List all known exhibits where this quilt has been displayed.

Quilts Old & New: Reproductions from the Great Lakes Quilt Center, East Lansing, MI, January 12-August 17, 2003, Michigan State University Museum; Quilting Sisters: African-American Quilting in Michigan exhibit: Krasl Art Center, St. Joseph, MI, January 13-February 13, 2000; Port Huron Museum, Port Huron, MI, September 8-October 21, 2001; Kalamazoo Valley Museum, Kalamazoo, MI, June 22-September 28, 2002; Castellani Art Museum at the Falls, Niagra Falls, NY, March 13-April 24, 2005. Quilts from the Michigan State University Museum Collection, traveling exhibit: Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI, October, 1992 - January, 1993: Southwestern Michigan College Museum, Dowagiac, MI, June - September, 1995; Midland County Historical Society, Midland, MI, December 1, 1997 - January 25, 1998. Michigan Quilts exhibit, Chicago Hilton and Towers, International Quilt Market and Festival, May 9-14, 1989.

List other materials that exisit about the quilt. This may include oral history, diaries, photos of the maker, templates, etc.

African American Quiltmaking in Michigan (1997) book, figure 94, page 63. Great Lakes, Great Quilts (2001) book, page 78.

Other relationship to source: If you chose Other, for the relationship to the source, describe the relationship here.

Museum employee

Ownership of this quilt is:

Public- Michigan State University Museum

Quilt owner's name:

Michigan State University Museum

Quilt owner's city:

East Lansing

Quilt owner's county:


Quilt owner's state.

Michigan (MI)

How did the owner acquire this quilt?


Tell the story of how the quilt was obtained.

11-15-1986, Viney Crawford, donor

Access and copyright information:


What parts of the quilt making process did the quilt maker do?

Made entire quilt

Describe any favorite patterns, tools, etc. used by the quilt maker.

Her favorite pattern, String, is designed to economically use small scraps of fabric. "I don't make really fancy quilts, just something put together."

Who photographed this quilt?

Mark Eifert

Who is the copyright holder?

Michigan State University Museum

Cite this Quilt

Crawford, Vine. String Quilt. 1986. From Michigan State University Museum, Michigan Quilt Project; Michigan State University Museum Collection. Published in The Quilt Index, Accessed: 10/28/21