Twelve Quilts of Christmas 2016 – #11

Floral Urn Quilt, Susan Noakes McCord, McCordville, Indiana, c. 1860, 85" x 83", cotton, Collection of <a href="">The Henry Ford Museum</a> and listed on <a href=" Accessed: 12/21/2016">The Quilt Index</a>.

Floral Urn Quilt, Susan Noakes McCord, McCordville, Indiana, c. 1860, 85″ x 83″, cotton, Collection of The Henry Ford Museum and listed on The Quilt Index.

    Susan Noakes McCord.  Indiana farm wife. Design genius.  Extraordinary Quilter.  Highly proficient needlewoman.  Quilting hero.  


The mid-nineteenth century saw many fine examples of quilts with exuberant bouquets in urns, usually in a four block setting.  Susan McCord elevates this style with her nine blocks filled with whimsical flowers.  In my books, there is no other historic quilter that matches her sense of style, originality and prolific production, particularly when you consider the scale that she often worked at (well of course you know I would be crazy over someone who was crazy over small pieces!).  Independent, she defined borders her own way … all four different  … thank you very much … who said they all have to be the same! And just in case you are wondering how small you can go with tiny grapes, yes those teensy grapes are individually hand appliquéd.  Her signature string pieced leaves appear again in this quilt, and she goes to town with layered circle/dots on her larger flowers.  Oh and that narrow pink binding … divine!  


Her quilts are a testament not only to her artistic vision but to her tenacity in seeing that vision through to completion.  I am in awe of her and her work.  No other word will do.  It is complete and utter awe.  


We are so incredibly lucky to have so many of her quilts survive.  Thirteen in total.  The last one donated by members of her family to The Henry Ford Museum in 2012.  


If you ever get the chance to see one of her quilts in person, you must.   Going back to being in awe now! 


  1. regan says...

    Genius…awe…and divine! Yes….those are the perfect words to describe Susan and her work! And the Henry Ford Museum should take a lesson from you on how to describe such an artist and masterpiece! They don’t do it justice!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *