Grand Prize Winner Margaret Caden

June 23, 1933
Waldvogel Archival Collection
Lexington, Kentucky, United States
Photograph of Margaret Caden and the $1000 check she received for winning the contest were published in the Herald-Post of Lexington, KY, her hometown newspaper on June 23, 1933.
Excerpts of the article by Kathryn Myrick reads: "Star of the Bluegrass" product of Kentucky genius, outshone 24,999 other quilts in the Century of Progress contest. Margaret Rogers Caden, Lexington needlework artist, is winner of the $1,000 first prize. Announcement that the Kentucky woman won with her tri-tinted quilt of green Scotch ginghams, was made today by Sears, Roebuck and Company, sponsors of the Chicago fair.

"And there is not a happier woman in the state today than Mrs. Caden. To have made the finest quilt in the United States, a quilt which is to be presented to Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, is something which any woman would thrill over.

"For a great many years Margaret Rogers Caden and A. M. Caden her sister, have been associated i business. For twenty-five years they have had a shop on the Esplanade in Lexington, where they sell handmade baby clothes, quilts and needlework products of all types. They also have a shop of the same sort in Miami, Fla., and have become widely known throughout the country for their excellent workmanship.

"When Margaret Rogers Caden received a circular telling her of the contest and suggesting that she enter she decided that she would exhibit a quilt that she was copying from an original in the Metropolitan Museum. After working on it for a while she realized that she would not be able to finish it in time for the contest so she began work immediately on a quilt she had planned to make some time before.

"It was made of tiny blocks, hand-quilted and stuffed with wool. These little blocks were quilted together to form stars. The blue-green of the stars against the duller, colder greens of the background was effective. the workmanship was perfect. And the quilt passed the first judges and was eligible to be entered in the national contest.

"When the Caden sisters heard that Margaret had won the regional prize of $200 they were excited and surprised. Two hundred dollars! Margaret Caden was almost stunned. Of course she had exhibited before, and had made a great many quilts in her life, but to have won a regional prize in a contest in which 5,000 women were competing! It was amazing.

"When she was informed that the first prize among 25,000 entries at Chicago had been awarded to her "Star of the Bluegrass" quilt she could hardly believe it. 'No,' she said. 'It was the regioal prize that I won. You mut be mistaken.'"

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