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Indian Feather Star; Indian Feather Star; Feather Star (Marie Webster)
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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).
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:
This is a:
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?
How long is the quilt?
Shape of edge:
Shape of corners:
What color(s) is the quilt?
Overall color scheme:
What is inscribed on the quilt?
MARY GASPERIK 1411 W. 174 ST. EAST HAZELCREST ILLINOIS
Method used to make the inscription:
Location of inscription:
When was the quilt finished?
Family/owner's date for quilt:
Date estimated by an antique dealer, quilt historian or appraiser:
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:
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:
What is the shape of the quilt blocks?
Number of borders:
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:
Fabric styles used in the quilt top:
Piecing techniques used to make the quilt top:
Applique techniques used to make the quilt top:
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:
What color(s) is the back of the quilt?
Describe the back:
Materials used in the quilt binding:
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?
Quilting techniques used:
Color of thread used in the quilting:
Quilting designs used, overall motifs:
Grid diamond; Outline; Single parallel lines
Quilting designs used, decorative motifs:
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:
Where the quilt was made, city:
Where the quilt was made, county:
Where the quilt was made, state:
Where the quilt was made, country:
How was this quilt acquired?
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?
Quilt is presently use as:
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?
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?
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:
Quilt owner's name:
Linda Krueger MacLachlan
Quilt owner's country:
Person filling out this form is:
Author/researcher; Blood relative of quiltmaker
Source of the information on this quilt:
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:
Quiltmaker's birth date:
Quiltmaker's date of death:
Quiltmaker's ethnic background/tribal affiliation:
Quiltmaker's educational background:
Quiltmaker's birthplace, country:
In which kind of environment did the quiltmaker live?
Quiltmaker's father's name:
Quiltmaker's father's birthplace:
Quiltmaker's father's ethnic/tribal background:
Quiltmaker's mother's name:
Quiltmaker's mother's birthplace:
Quiltmaker's mother's ethnic/tribal background:
Quiltmaker's spouse's/spouses' and/or partner's/partners' ethnic/tribal background:
Quiltmaker's spouse's/spouses' and/or partner's/partners' occupation:
Milk Dealer/Grocery Store Owner/Butcher
Number of children:
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?
Why does the quiltmaker quilt?
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?
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?
Does/did the quiltmaker teach quilting?
Who photographed this quilt?
Access and copyright information:
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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Marie Daugherty Webster was an American quilt designer and historian. She lived in Marion, Indiana and created quilt patterns for the Ladies Home Journal starting in 1911. They often featured pastel colors and botannically accurate flowers and leaves.
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In 1992, three of Mary Gasperik's granchildren, worked with other family members to present the quilts of their grandmother.
The Quilts of Mary Gasperik
The Quilts of Mary Gasperik
March; 14; 1992
An exhibit catalog for a display of quilts made by Mary Gasperik at Ravenswood Historic Site, Livermore, California. March 14-15, 1992.
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Mary Gasperik and The Illinois State Fair
July; 8; 2021
Mary participated in the Illinois State Fair from 1940-1966 winning over 40 ribbons.
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Mary Gasperik Quilters Hall of Fame Induction Exhibit
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The Mary Gasperik Hall of Fame Exhibit, was held at the Marion Public Library from July 15-17, 2021 as part of the Quilters Hall of Fame Celebration 2021.
Chicago; Illinois; United States
Mary Gasperik made more than 80 quilts while living in Chicago at the height of the quilt revival of the 1930s and 40s.18-47-2
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