String Quilt; String squares





Who documented this quilt?

Michigan Quilt Project; Michigan State University Museum Collection; Black Diaspora Quilt History Project

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:


Object label:

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


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.

Owner's name for the quilt:

String Quilt

Names for quilt's pattern in common use:

String squares

Biography of the quiltmaker?

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."

Quilt top made by:

Crawford, Viney

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

Received as a gift

Where the quilt was made, city:


Where the quilt was made, county:


Where the quilt was made, state:

Michigan (MI)

Time period:


When was the quilt started?


When was the quilt finished?


Why was the quilt made?


Details about why the 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.

Quilt is presently used as:

Museum collection

Quiltmaker's gender:


Quiltmaker's city:


Quiltmaker's county:


Quiltmaker's state:

Michigan (MI)

Quiltmaker's maiden name:


Quiltmaker's birth date:


Quiltmaker's ethnic background/tribal affiliation:

African American

Quiltmaker's father's name:

Green, J. Curley

Quiltmaker's mother's name:

Green, Callie Washington

Quiltmaker's spouse's/spouses' and /or partner's/partners' name(s):

Crawford, Clarence

How did the quiltmaker learn to quilt?

From Relative

Why does the quiltmaker quilt?


Other notes on how the quiltmaker learned, and how and why they quilt:

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

This is a:

Finished quilt

How wide is the quilt?


How long is the quilt?


Shape of edge:


Overall color scheme:

Bright or primary colors

Quilt's condition:

Excellent/like new

Describe the quilt's layout:

Block pattern

Number of quilt blocks:


Size of quilt blocks:

13/2" x 13 1/2"

Arrangement of quilt blocks:


Spacing of quilt blocks:

Separated by plain sashing

Sashing width:


Number of borders:


Describe the borders:

1 1/2"

Piecing techniques used to make the quilt top:

Machine Piecing

Materials used to make the back:

Cotton or polyester blend

Number of pieces of fabric in the quilt back:


How is the binding made?

Front turned to back

How are the layers held together?

Tied or tufted

Where did the maker get their materials?

Sewing scraps

Exhibitions where this quilt was 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.

Related items such as diaries, obituaries, wills, household inventories, or pictures of the quiltmaker:

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

Source of the information on this quilt:

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 was this quilt acquired?


Tell the story of how the quilt was obtained:

11-15-1986, Viney Crawford, donor

Access and copyright information:


How did the quiltmaker participate in the creation of the quilt?

Made entire quilt

Describe any favorite patterns, tools, etc. used by the quiltmaker:

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

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; Black Diaspora Quilt History Project. Published in The Quilt Index, Accessed: 07/24/24