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.