Monday, June 25, 2012

Newly Discovered Susan McCord Quilt

In February Michigan's Henry Ford Museum announced the acquisition of a newly discovered quilt by Susan McCord.

 Susan McCord, Triple Irish Chain
The Henry Ford Museum

For fans of antique quilts it's equivalent to finding a new Rembrandt. Susan McCord was a 19th-century quilting genius, creating at least thirteen quilts of unique design. She seems to have invented the string-pieced applique vine in the border above. Nobody else used it---until of course we all made our own.

Here's one of mine.

 Several years ago Shauna Christiansen, Deb Rowden and I published a book called Susan McCord: The Unforgettable Artisty of an Indiana Quilter. We made many quilts inspired by McCord.

Deb Rowden, Vines

Deb used Susan McCord's vine idea to set some antique blocks. 

Barbara Brackman, Oh Susannah!
I was inpired by McCord's quilt that the Ford Museum calls Colorful Branches to do a wall hanging.

Susan McCord, Colorful Branches
The Henry Ford Museum

See the Ford Museum's blog with links to more pictures of the quilt here:
And see their online exhibit Quilting Genius here:http://www.thehenryford.org/exhibits/quiltinggenius/quilts/72_140_1.asp
Our Susan McCord book is still in print. The Star's Pickledish Store carries it. Read more here:

Janet at Quiltsalott has generously posted a free pattern for her interpretation of the Trailing Vines quilt:

Update: Annette Ratzenberger sent a picture of a quilt she made inspired by Susan McCord's Ocean Wave. She made the pattern herself


  1. OMG! Another Susan McCord! I have been such a huge fan of her work and to have another one show up is so exciting. Thanks for the post.

  2. That is an incredible quilt. Thanks for sharing.

  3. What a great way to start Monday!

  4. I love the irish chain pattern and this one is a beauty with the added appliqués. This week is back to quilting, so time to finish my two americana pieces. Stormy stay, so perfect time for sewing and resting.


  5. How amazing, makes one wonder, Is there another one out there? This is a fabulous find, thanks so much for sharing.

  6. If I'm not mistaken Annette hand-pieced all those hsts! What a gorgeous quilt.

  7. I wouldn't have known about this quilt without your post. Thank you so very much. The border is spectacular, as of course is much of Susan McCord's work.

  8. Think of McCord's life as the vine and the exceeding joy quilt-making must have been contributing to it, wow!!

  9. Beautiful work on those quilts, very inspiring!
    Thanks for sharing.

  10. The work was probably taught her by her English mother with ties to Scotland or Northern Ireland. You can see it in her work.

  11. Love Susan McCord’s vines and leaves, one of the reasons I’ve been quilting for 45 years. Wonderful to see more of her work! Thank you ☺️