My Mother's Little Stars made by Rebecca Barringer Garlock

Michigan; United States

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Some of the pieces in this pieced quilt date to 1838, and perhaps earlier, when the quiltmaker began to assemble the eight-pointed stars that give the quilt its name.

Each of the 342 pieced star blocks consists of 17 triangular pieces of patterned cotton. The addition of 306 white cotton squares and 350 half-squares makes a total of 6,470 pieces in the quilt. Quilted diagonal lines cross the centers of the stars, which are also outlined with quilting. The quilting designs of the white blocks include hearts set into circles within squares. All of the quilting has been done by hand, with 12 top 13 stitches per inch.

Born in 1824 in Herkimer County, New York, Rebecca Barringer Garlock was still a young girl when she started this quilt, which she finished several years after her marriage in 1847 to John Garlock, a farmer. In 1856 the couple and their children moved from New York to a farm near Grand Ledge, Michigan, where their family eventually included eight children. Garlock, who completed her quilt in Michigan during the 1850s, died in 1893. The quilt has remained in the family passing from Garlock's daughter, Elizabeth Garlock Rice, to Rice's nephew and niece, Don and Watie Garlock, then to Don and Watie's daughter, Ruth Garlock Maier, and finally to Maier's daughter Marilyn Maier Smith, the present owner. Other quiltmaker's in the family have included Rebecca Garlock's daughter, Elizabeth Garlock Rice, who lived at Wacousta, Michigan; her granddaughter Ruth Garlock Maier; and her great-granddaughter, Lucille Garlock Jenison of Perry, Michigan.

Written by MacDowell, Marsha (1987)

MacDowell, Marsha and Fitzgerald, Ruth, ed. Michigan Quilts: 150 Years of a Textile Tradition, Michigan State University Museum, East Lansing, MI, 1987, page 22.

Michigan State University Museum


  • Michigan Quilt Project

    Documentation Project

    Michigan State University

  • ca 1850'S

    My Mother's Littl...

    Garlock, Rebecca

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