Sandy Mush Quilter: Margaret Brown

Margaret Brown sitting in chair at home
Margaret Brown, Sandy Mush Quilter


Margaret Hawkins Brown will happily tell you she will turn ninety-five this June. Margaret is the daughter of Nola Ellen Duckett Hawkins and William Author Hawkins, and she is one of twelve children.  She has touched many people’s lives in this community by sharing her quilts. 

She began sewing before she was old enough to attend grade school; she helped her older sister Annie, who made their family’s clothes as well as sewed for others. By the age of sixteen, Margaret was sewing her own clothes.  While growing up, she would help piece quilts in the winter.  Once married, she spent much time working in the dairy and didn’t have as much time to focus on quilting. Though she certainly made up for it once she was able to carve out time for quilting again.

Margaret estimates that she has made well over 200 quilts, which she has generously given as gifts and to those in need.  It is a treasure to have a Margaret Brown quilt, and I am fortunate to have received one of her quilts many years ago.  “I enjoyed making them and giving them.  I sold a few, but many people gave me scrape fabric through the years, and I like giving back to those who need the quilts,” Margaret shared.

Margaret has a large family and has made quilts for her five children, ten grandchildren, nineteen great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.  One year she cut, pieced and quilted ten quilts.

Currently, she has eleven quilt tops pieced.  She does most of the piecing by machine now, but does still piece by hand when using a curvy design.  In the past, she mostly quilted by hand, but now she passes the pieced tops on to a neighbor who quilts them by machine. Margaret continues to do the finger work around the borders.

As with many of the quilters in our Sandy Mush Quilt Gallery, Margaret fondly remembers attending the quilting class offered at the community center many years ago.  Though she already knew how to quilt, she enjoyed the camaraderie and fun of the group.  She, along with the others, helped create and quilt the two quilts hanging in the downstairs old cafeteria of the Sandy Mush Community Center. 

An additional history note:  Margaret’s father, William Author Hawkins built at least two homes which are still standing in Sandy Mush.  The Raymond Wells home on Willow Creek Rd. and the Herman Wells home on Big Sandy Mush Rd.

3 Responses

  1. Mary Ann Hannah
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    I loved reading about Margaret and her quilts. When Jim and I visited Sandy Mush about 1961 when we were first married and lived in California Margaret was one of the people Jim took me to visit. That was my first visit to Sandy Mush – never imagined I would live here in later life! Margaret showed us her lovely quilts and I was amazed with them. Wonder if she didn’t give me the quilt bug as I have done a little quilting over the years but nothing to compare with the quality or quantity of Margaret. She is such a special lady!

  2. Norma Bradley
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    What a delightful, informative story. I now have more information to share when I show the quilt Margaret gave to me to share in schools, more than twenty years ago. She is a treasure and so delightful to be with. I didn’t know that there were thirteen children in the Hawkins family. Her sister Ida May was also a treasure and I am honored that I got to know both of them. I have a quilt that Ida May made for Jim and me about 35 years ago when we were new to Sandy Mush. So glad these stories are getting documented and shared.

  3. Wanda Hawkins Ingle
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    Aunt Margaret was my dad, Glen’s, youngest sister. She has worked hard all of her life and deserves the best. I always found her to have a positive, happy attitude. It is interesting how spellings of names change or are remembered differently. I remember my grandmother’s name as Nona Ellen. I named my daughter for her. Also, the way I spelled grandfather’s name was Arthur and my brother Arthur Hawkins was named for him. The 12 children of the Hawkins family contributed a great deal to many families and communities and have had far reaching influence.

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