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Indian Feather Star; Indian Feather Star; Feather Star (Marie Webster)

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QUILT INDEX RECORD

18-14-28

Description:

Gasperik followed a custom of expert quiltmakers to look to antique quilts for inspiration and design possibilities. An overall photo of the antique quilt on which this Gasperik design is based appears in Marie Webster's 1915 book. The six appliqué feathers are borrowed from a different antique quilt also featured by Webster and also used by Gasperik (see #006, #045 and #081).

Essay:

Mary Gasperik made seven quilts that are recreations of antique quilts. They are all based on three different quilts presented by Marie D. Webster in her iconic quilt book Quilts: Their Story and How To Make Them, first published in 1915. The three Webster antique quilts which Gasperik chose as her models are: (1) Indiana Wreath (frontispiece, and praised at length by Webster in her text), (2) "Feather Star (shown in Figure 19, which is a photograph of a complete quilt, made about 1850) and (3) "Feather Star With Applique" (shown in Figure 35, a photograph of only the corner of a quilt and captioned: "This quilt, which is the only one of this pattern, was made about 1835. It was designed by a Mr. Hamill for his sweetheart, Mary Hayward".

Quilt #030 is Gasperik’s re-creation of (2) above. The family calls it “Indian Feather Star” and Gasperik herself called it “Feather Star” (as written on a paper exhibit tag from a Tuley Park quilt show). In order to make this quilt Gasperik recycled a pattern that she had on hand from making quilt (3), the antique Webster calls “Feather Star with Applique” and Gasperik called “Double Feather Star”. It was difficult to translate that Webster quilt into a useable pattern, and, Gasperik enlisted the help of her daughter Elsie to do it. She described this to Edith B. Crumb, the director of The Detroit News Quilt Club Corner and creator of the Detroit quilt shows. Edith wrote about this in one of her quilt columns published in The Detroit News, February 11, 1936, page 24. Even the title of this column (“there are 1467 Pieces in This charming Top”), captures the complexity of the pattern painstakingly created from that small Webster photograph. The article also mentions that Gasperik had completed one black and white top and one red and white top, using the pattern. That red and white version, was shown – completed and quilted – at the 1937 Detroit News Quilt Show. When Edith wrote the 1936 quilt column she evidently did not know that Gasperik had already completed a different red and white version of the quilt, dated 1935. Crumb praised her for making two versions of a very complicated quilt, when, in fact, Gasperik had made three. All of this activity (three quilts) argues that Gasperik was pleased with her achievement and wanted to make good use of the hard-won pattern.

It must have been with some pleasure that she discovered she could use that pattern - yet again - to make a completely different quilt from another antique featured by Webster. Comparing the block on her “Double Feather Star” quilt #045 with the feather star block on her sister Linda’s “Indian Feather Star”, Salser concluded that the same pattern can account for the feather star blocks in both quilts. She believes that her grandmother’s decision to appliqué curved feathers (taken from Gasperik’s re-creation of Webster #035) into the corners of her re-creation of Webster #019 is her way of (humorously) memorializing the connection between the two very different antique quilt reproduction projects. Four Gasperik quilts tell the story (#006, #030 (this quilt), #045 and #081).

Where are the records for this quilt housed?

Mary Gasperik Legacy Project

Who documented this quilt?

Mary Gasperik Private Collection

Gasperik Legacy Project Number:

030

This is a:

Finished quilt

Quilt's title:

Indian Feather Star

Owner's name for quilt:

Indian Feather Star

Name(s) for quilt's pattern in common use:

Feather Star (Marie Webster)

How wide is the quilt?

77 inches

How long is the quilt?

96 inches

Shape of edge:

Straight

Shape of corners:

Straight

What color(s) is the quilt?

Brown; Cream

Overall color scheme:

Two color

Quilt's condition:

Excellent/like new

What is inscribed on the quilt?

MARY GASPERIK 1411 W. 174 ST. EAST HAZELCREST ILLINOIS

Method used to make the inscription:

Attached label

Location of inscription:

on back

Time period:

1930-1949

When was the quilt finished?

1935-1950

Family/owner's date for quilt:

1935-1950

Date estimated by an antique dealer, quilt historian or appraiser:

1935

Further information concerning date(s):

One of the pattern elements used in this quilt also appears in a quilt dated 1935. The lime green backing may indicate it was completed at a much later date.

Describe the quilt's layout:

Block pattern

Number of quilt blocks:

12 pieced blocks; 6 applique blocks

Arrangement of quilt blocks:

On point or rotated on 45 degrees

Spacing of quilt blocks:

Side by side

Number of different block patterns used in the quilt:

2

What is the shape of the quilt blocks?

Triangles

Number of borders:

2

Border description:

Wide plain white outer border. Narrower inner pieced border of flying geese frames the central field.

Fiber type(s) used to make the quilt top:

Cotton

Fabric styles used in the quilt top:

Print; Solid/plain

Piecing techniques used to make the quilt top:

Hand Piecing

Applique techniques used to make the quilt top:

Hand Applique

Describe embellishment materials or techniques:

Applique feathers in corners are borrowed from a different quilt pattern (found on #006 and #045)

Materials used to make the back:

Cotton

What color(s) is the back of the quilt?

Green

Describe the back:

Solid/plain

Materials used in the quilt binding:

Cotton

What is the width of the binding (measure on the top only)?

less than a half inch

What kind of filling is used in the quilt?

Cotton

Quilting techniques used:

Hand quilting

Color of thread used in the quilting:

white

Quilting designs used, overall motifs:

Grid diamond; Outline; Single parallel lines

Quilting designs used, decorative motifs:

Feathering; Wreaths

Quilting designs used, background fills:

Grid/crosshatch; Parallel lines

Describe the quilting designs used:

Feather band quilted around entire border. Feathered hearts quilted in the corners. Feathered wreaths quilted 24 times around the border of the center panel

Features or notes about the quilt's appearance, materials, or construction:

It should be noted that the lime green backing on this quilt might indicate its approximate date of completion. Three Gasperik quilts have an unusual yellow-green backing (#063 - Indiana Wreath and #021 Delectable Mountains are the other two). The year 1953 is quilted into Delectable Mountains. Salser is not sure if the backing is the same color on all three quilts. This can be checked.

Quilt top made by:

Gasperik, Mary

Quilted by:

Gasperik, Mary

Where the quilt was made, city:

Chicago

Where the quilt was made, county:

Cook County

Where the quilt was made, state:

Illinois (IL)

Where the quilt was made, country:

United States

How was this quilt acquired?

Inheritance

Tell the story of how the quilt was obtained:

Selected by daughter Elsie during a division of quilts after Gasperik died in 1969. After Elsie died, in 1969, daughteres Karen, Linda and Susan divided Elsie's quilts. Linda selected this one.

Why was the quilt made?

Personal enjoyment

Quilt is presently use as:

Keepsake/memento

Describe present use(s) of the quilt:

Mary's grandchildren regard her quilts as a unique collection to be preserved and appreciated.

Where did the maker get their materials?

Purchased new

Where did the maker find their pattern?

Commercial/Published source: Book

Describe the source of the pattern:

Figure 19 "Feather Star" and Figure 35 "Feather Star with Applique" from Marie D. Webster photos of antique quilts.

Commercial name of the pattern for the top:

Gasperik made her own patterns based on Webster.

Where did the quiltmaker find the pattern for the quilting design on the quilt?

Published material

Describe where the quilting design pattern was found:

"Aunt Martha's Answer How to Quilt It" (1935?)

What is the commercial name of the quilting design used for this quilt?

Feather Band quilting pattern # C5576. 24-petal feathered wreath and feathered heart from Needleart Guild "Original Master Quilting Patterns".

Exhibitions where this quilt was displayed:

Cloth address label indicates this quilt was likely sent to an Illinois State Fair. 2 family photos by Elmer Gasperik show this quilt on display at an Illinois State Fair. The pictures capture the elaborate display case, and show that textiles were displayed folded. Yellow paper exhibit tag indicates it was hung at a Tuley Park quilt show.

The Quilts of Mary Gasperik, Ravenswood Historic Site, Livermore, CA, March 14-15, 1992.

This is one of the 23 Mary Gasperik quilts exhibited in the Carnegie Room of the Marion Indiana Public Library July 16-17, 2021 in connection with the ceremony honoring the induction of Mary Gasperik into The Quilters Hall of Fame as their 2021 Legacy Quilter honoree. Mary Gasperik Quilters Hall of Fame Induction Exhibit.

Publications (including web sites) where this quilt or maker was featured:

Merikay Waldvogel and Barbara Brackman. Patchwork Souvenirs of the 1933 Chicago World's Fair, (Nashville, TN: Rutledge Hill Press, 1993)102-103.

Merikay Waldvogel "One American Dream Comes True", Quilters Newsletter Magazine, March 2008, 46-49.

Related items such as diaries, obituaries, wills, household inventories, or pictures of the quiltmaker:

Quilts: Their Story and How to Make Them, Marie D. Webster, Doubleday, Doran & Company Inc., 1928, quilt photograph facing page 40.

Ownership of this quilt is:

Private

Quilt owner's name:

Linda Krueger MacLachlan

Quilt owner's country:

United States

Person filling out this form is:

Author/researcher; Blood relative of quiltmaker

Source of the information on this quilt:

Grand-daughter

Describe the relationship to the quilt's maker:

Grand-daughter Susan Salser began this research effort in 1991, after she and her two sisters divided up the quilts which belonged to their mother (Elsie Gasperik Krueger) who died in 1988. Her ongoing research has been fruitful and interesting.

Quiltmaker's maiden name:

Mihalovits, Maria

Quiltmaker's gender:

Female

Quiltmaker's birth date:

01/25/1888

Quiltmaker's date of death:

05/25/1969

Quiltmaker's ethnic background/tribal affiliation:

Hungarian

Quiltmaker's educational background:

Elementary School

Quiltmaker's birthplace, country:

Hungary

In which kind of environment did the quiltmaker live?

Rural

Quiltmaker's city:

Chicago

Quiltmaker's county:

Cook

Quiltmaker's state:

Illinois (IL)

Quiltmaker's country:

United States

Quiltmaker's father's name:

Mihalovits, Istvan

Quiltmaker's father's birthplace:

Hungary

Quiltmaker's father's ethnic/tribal background:

Hungarian

Quiltmaker's mother's name:

Mihalovits, Vidoszava

Quiltmaker's mother's birthplace:

Hungary

Quiltmaker's mother's ethnic/tribal background:

Hungarian

Quiltmaker's spouse's/spouses' and/or partner's/partners' ethnic/tribal background:

Hungarian

Quiltmaker's spouse's/spouses' and/or partner's/partners' occupation:

Milk Dealer/Grocery Store Owner/Butcher

Number of children:

3

How many of the quiltmaker's children were girls?

1 (Elsie 1909-1988)

How many of the quiltmaker's children were boys?

2 (Elmer and Stephen)

How did the quiltmaker learn to quilt?

From guild or club member; Self-Taught

When did the quiltmaker learn to quilt?

Age 40-49

Why does the quiltmaker quilt?

Pleasure; Other

Other notes on how the quiltmaker learned, and how and why they quilt:

To exhibit in shows held by her >Tuley Park quilt club in Chicago, the Detroit News quilt show in Detroit, many Illinois State Fairs, at least one Indiana State Fair. She entered quilts in at least 2 Chicago department store contests. She made at least one quilt and one quilt top specifically for the 1939 New York Worlds Fair quilt contest. She also made children's quilts specifically for grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and wedding and wedding anniversary quilts for her son Elmer and grand-daughter Karen. Primarily, she wanted to make quilts because it was her life passion and her greatest talent. The occasions and venues to show them presented themselves. It should be noted that prior to Mary's emigration to America in late 1904, at age 16, she was an apprenticed needleworker in her native Hungary. The intricate and colorful floral embroideries traditional to Hungary lend themselves especially well to applique, the quilt style Mary preferred.

Does/did the quiltmaker belong to a group? Name of the group?

Tuley Park Quilt Club and Detroit News Quilt Club

Does/did the quiltmaker belong to a group?

Southside Chicago and Detroit MI

What are the main activities of the group?

Chicago group met to quilt and held periodic quilt shows; Detroit group held national exhibits and contests.

Estimated number of quilts made by this quiltmaker:

more than 50

Does/did the quiltmaker sell quilts?

no

Does/did the quiltmaker teach quilting?

no

Who photographed this quilt?

Don Gonzalez

Access and copyright information:

Restricted

Copyright holder:

Susan Salser

Details

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Cite this Quilt

Gasperik, Mar. Indian Feather Star. 1935-1950. From Mary Gasperik Legacy Project, Mary Gasperik Private Collection. Published in The Quilt Index, https://quiltindex.org/view/?type=fullrec&kid=18-14-28. Accessed: 11/27/22

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