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Meadow Lark and Peasant Wreath; Wild Flower Wreath; Field Flower Wreath, Field Flowers

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quilt

QUILT INDEX RECORD

18-14-30

DESCRIPTION:

This late 1930s quilt Paragon kit (Wild Flower Wreath #01010) has been modified by Gasperik who added six meadowlarks from an outside source, plus the embroidered wheat, a Hungarian national emblem that appears on many of her quilts. Its scalloped border is also Gasperik's addition to the Paragon design. Gasperik added to and altered commercial patterns throughout her quilting career.

ESSAY:

Salser believes that even though this quilt may have been begun close to 1937-38, it wasn’t completed until years later. She believes those meadowlarks were added later, because she remembers her mother making blouses of those woodsy print materials. If the quilt was completed shortly before the 1949 Tuley Park quilt show where her sister remembers it hanging, then she would have been 8 or 9 years old when her mother made the blouses she remembers. That is quite possible. Salser strongly associates this quilt (which is one of her personal Gasperik favorites) with the colorful garden at the house in East Hazelcrest to which the Gasperiks moved in 1948-1949 - and not with the dark cramped quarters behind the store on Cottage Grove. When Salser visited Hungary in 1992 she saw displays of floral embroidered textiles in the Museum of Hungarian Popular Arts and Crafts in Kecskemet, Hungary which are very reminiscent of the red, yellow and blue wildflower wreaths on this quilt. She would like to imagine that the Paragon kit appealed to her grandmother’s Hungarian sensibilities and that even if she began to appliqué it in that dark dining room (there was no window), in making it she was reminding herself of the fields and flowers of the Hungarian plains, which she left behind when she emigrated to Chicago. Lines of quilting run under but not through the meadowlarks. Perhaps after the move to East Hazelcrest, where she finally had a roomy garden, she was inspired to get out that wild flower quilt, to liberate it with those birds and plant it with Hungarian wheat.

It should be noted that the color picture pasted on the Paragon kit #01010 box lid calls the contents "Quilt No. 01010 Wild Flower Wreath Design", where the instruction sheet inside the box describes the contests as "PARAGON Reg. U.S.PAT. OFF. STAMPED QUILT - NO. 01010 "FIELD FLOWER WREATH". The embroidery on the Gasperik quilt follows the Paragon kit instructions. A quilt top sewn by an unknown quilter is embroidered in pretty much the same way and with the same skill. This top was purchased in 2005 by Susan Salser from an ebay seller who described its provenance as follows: "From the Estate of an 87 Year Old Woman. This vintage applique quilt top is 80" wide and 90" long and is in excellent condition with just a few small light age spots. It has 12 appliqued designs of poppys, daiseys and blue flowers I do not recognize. The edges of this quilt top are embroidered with the wording "PARAGON (N.Y.) REG. U.S. PAT. OFF. NO. 01010 QILT EMBROIDER WITH PERLUSTA". It should be noted the company name is stamped not embroidered on the edge of the quilt top, as would be expected. The biggest difference between the Gasperik quilt and the purchased quilt-top is the fabric ground. The Gasperik quilt is now white, but Salser remembers that it had a creamier tone before she washed the quilt. The ebay top Salser purchased is an ivory toned coarser fabric than the percale of the Gasperik quilt. The kit's ground fabric is eggshell or off white in tone. The Gasperik quilt measures 77" x 88" and has been washed. The unwashed ebay quilt top measures 80" by 90".

Earlier, Salser had purchased a copy of Paragon #01010. The seller described the 2003 sale copy as follows: "From a 1937 quilt kit is a pattern for a vintage Wildflower Wreath Quilt, 81" x 94", for a full-sized bed. If you've priced complete and original old kits lately, you're well aware that they have become scarce and expensive to buy. This is not a kit - it is a pattern adapted from one and is complete except for the fabrics. The photo that came with the kit was in black and white, so with it will be a color photo of the complete wreath. It was started and set aside almost 70 years ago, but still has the bright shades of red, blues and yellow.” When the copy of this “Wildflower Wreath Quilt” pattern arrived the instruction sheet began: “These instructions are a replacement for the original sheet that was included in the kit – it was brief and had only a black and white picture of the finished quilt on the envelope. A copy of that photo is included. It also had a sales slip for $5.33 from Marshall Field...” The original Paragon #01010 kit Salser purchased on ebay has a tag affixed to the box cover. She can make out “Boston Store Milwaukee” a price of “$5.60” and the number “01010”. A year is not visible.

The stamped eggshell percale supplied in this kit measures approximately 80” x 96”. Salser believes there is no reason to question that Gasperik probably used the actual Paragon kit contents, but adding appliqué birds and embroidered wheat to the kit’s materials. Since the Gasperik quilt is now so faded from washing and wall display, it is difficult to determine whether Gasperik used the kit’s colored fabrics; but the selection of hues does match; so, again, there is no reason to question that the Gasperik quilt was made from Paragon kit #01010, with some additions and the substitution of a scalloped border for the kit’s straight border. From the price tag information mentioned above, this kit was marketed in 1937. In June 2014 Susan Salser purchased, on eBay, a finished quilt which must have been made from Paragon kit #01010. The eBay seller acquired this unsigned quilt from an estate sale in NY whose seller told her the quilt had been made by her mother years ago. It had been stored in a trunk for years, so the fabric color are still quite vivid. This quilt appears to be a faithful execution of Paragon's kit and the quilt is in excellent condition. According to the website "fabrics.net" (http://info.fabrics.net/history-of-kit-quilts/" in its subsection entitled "Kit Quilts by Individuals" "Paragon made 127 kits from 1937 - 1982 and are still making kits today" (June 123, 2014).

Because the Gasperik quilt's owner, Susan Salser, recognizes fabrics her grandmother (Gasperik) used to make the added meadowlarks as fabrics her own mother used to make blouses for herself ~1950, she believes that this quilt, although it might have been begun as early as 1937 was not completed until over a decade later. This makes sense, in terms of the trajectory of Gasperik's quilting career. In the early years of her quilt-making she seems to have completed quite a few quilt tops which she did not immediately finish. She was working at a furious pace, completely entranced with quilt-making. These tops furnished good projects for her to work on (to complete, or in several cases to decide to leave uncompleted) during the 'dry' years after The Detroit News quilts contests ceased (the final one was held in May 1940) and during the period when, due to WWII, the Illinois State Fairs (Gasperik's second-favorite quilt competition venue) were cancelled (1942 through 1945). This is a time when her quilting skills (and energy) were at their zenith, although her competition opportunities were at their nadir. This is the quilt Susan most admired seeing her grandmother display in her East Hazelcrest garden because of its cheerful and colorful outdoors look. She was very happy when her mother gave it to her as a gift from her grandmother.

Where are the records for this quilt housed?

Mary Gasperik Legacy Project

Who documented this quilt?

Mary Gasperik Private Collection

CONTRIBUTING INSTITUTIONAL INVENTORY CONTROL NUMBERS: Enter the main control number for this item you are entering.

046

TYPE OF QUILT OBJECT: Choose the best description for the quilt being documented.

Finished quilt

QUILT'S TITLE, IF IT HAS ONE: Many quilts have no title, but contemporary quilters often give a name to their quilts.

Meadow Lark and Peasant Wreath

OWNER'S NAME FOR QUILT'S PATTERN: Enter the name given to the quilt by the owner. This can be the name the family used to refer to the quilt as it passed through different generations, e.g. "Aunt Susie's quilt" or a pattern name that the owner used.

Wild Flower Wreath

ALTERNATE NAME(S) FOR QUILT'S PATTERN IN COMMON USE: This is the name of the quilt pattern that it is commonly used among quilt makers and historians. It may be different in different regions of the country.

Field Flower Wreath, Field Flowers

OVERALL WIDTH: Enter how wide the quilt is.

77 inches

OVERALL LENGTH: Enter how long the quilt is.

88 inches

SHAPE OF EDGE: Choose the best description for the edges of the quilt.

Scalloped

SHAPE OF CORNERS: Choose the best description for the corners of the quilt.

Scalloped

PREDOMINANT COLOR(S): Enter all colors that are found in the quilt.

Beige or Tan; Blue or Navy; Gold; Red; White; Yellow

OVERALL COLOR SCHEME: Choose the best color scheme description for the quilt being documented.

Bright or primary colors

OVERALL CONDITION: Choose the best description for the quilt being documented.

Good/moderate use

DAMAGE TO QUILT: Use this field to describe specific damage to the quilt.

Fading

COMMENTS OR NOTES ON QUILT'S CONDITION OR REPAIR HISTORY: Some quilts have had extensive or unusual repair work done. Please use this field to describe anything that didn't fit in the previous fields.

Salser displayed this quilt on her bedroom wall for a number of years. It is somewhat faded from sunlight, but more faded from several washings.

TYPE(S) OF INSCRIPTION: Choose all the options that are found on the quilt.

Other

OTHER TYPE(S) OF INSCRIPTION: If you chose Other, please describe the type of inscription here.

fabric address label

CONTENT OF INSCRIPTION(S): Enter the exact inscription here, including dates in the same form in which they appear on the quilt. Do not correct any spellings. If you are unsure of a letter or name, place a (?) to indicate uncertainty.

MARY GASPERIK
1411 W 174th STREET
EAST HAZELCREST
ILLINOIS

METHOD OF INSCRIPTION: Choose the method used to inscribe the quilt.

Attached label

LOCATION OF INSCRIPTION: Enter where the inscription was found on the quilt.

on back

OTHER LOCATION OF INSCRIPTION: If you chose Other, please describe where the inscription was found.

cloth label sewn to back lower left corner

TIME PERIOD: Choose the time frame that best describes when the quilt was made. The date does not have to appear on the quilt to enter it in this field. This can be your best guess based on family stories or your own knowledge of quilts.

1930-1949

DATE FINISHED: Enter the date the quilt was finished.

1937-1949

FAMILY/OWNER'S DATE FOR QUILT: If there are family stories that indicate a date when the quilt was made, enter that date.

1937-1949

OTHER EXTERNAL OR PROFESSIONAL DATE ESTIMATION: If the date was estimated by an antique dealer, quilt historian or appraiser, enter that date.

1937

OTHER DATE ESTIMATION BY WHOM: Enter the name and/or title of the person who estimated the quilt's date for field 23d.

Merikay Waldvogel

FURTHER INFORMATION CONCERNING DATE(S): If you know anything else about the date the quilt was made, please tell the story.

Estimated date is based on the date of the kit (1937) and the birds fabrics. Born in 1940, Susan Salser remembers the source of the meadowlarks' fabrics - leftovers from blouses her mother made.

LAYOUT FORMAT: Choose the best description for the layout (or set) of the quilt.

Block pattern

NUMBER OF QUILT BLOCKS: This field only applies to quilts with a block format. Some blocks are harder to count than others (e.g. Storms at Sea, Double Wedding Ring). If needed, describe how the blocks were counted or if there are half blocks/corner blocks

12 wreath blocks; 6 bird blocks.

ARRANGEMENT OF QUILT BLOCKS: BLOCK ORIENTATION: This field only applies to quilts with a block format. Choose the best description for how the quilt blocks appear in the quilt.

On point or rotated on 45 degrees

OTHER SPACING: If none of the options in Field 29 describe the quilt, explain the quilt setting here. May relate to Fields 26 & 27, if the blocks sizes are not the same throughout the quilt.

The original kit was designed with plain alternating blocks; Gasperik added birds to those blocks.

NUMBER OF BORDERS: Borders are the strips of fabric that are added after the blocks (and sashings) are put together. They appear on the outside edges of the quilt. Quilts often have multiple borders. Enter the number of borders on the quilt.

None

BORDER DESCRIPTION: Describe the style of the borders (i.e. pieced, appliqued, stenciled) and the width of each border, from the inside to the outside.

Wide white areas extending from the central panel might be considered borders. Notice the side borders are wider than the top and bottom borders.

FABRIC FIBER TYPES USED IN QUILT TOP: Choose all the types of fiber that are used to make the quilt top.

Cotton

FABRIC PATTERNS, STYLES, MOTIFS, OR PRINT CATEGORIES USED IN QUILT TOP: Choose all the types of prints that are used to make the quilt top.

Print; Solid/plain

CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUES USED IN QUILT TOP: APPLIQUE TECHNIQUES: Choose the applique method used to construct the quilt.

Hand Applique

CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUES USED IN QUILT TOP: EMBELLISHMENT TECHNIQUES: Choose the embellishment technique used to make the quilt.

Embroidery

UNIQUE EMBELLISHMENTS: Enter any embellishment materials that don't appear in a previous field.

Embroidered wheat below birds (which themselves are borrowed from a source outside the kit).

FABRIC FIBER TYPES USED IN QUILT BACK: Choose the fiber type used to make the quilt back.

Cotton

COLOR OF BACKING: Enter all colors that are found in the quilt backing.

Yellow

DESCRIPTION OF BACK: Choose the best description for the back of the quilt.

Solid/plain

MATERIALS USED IN QUILT BINDING: Choose the fiber type used to make the quilt binding.

Cotton

FABRIC STRUCTURE USED IN BINDING: Choose the fabric structure used to make the quilt binding.

Plain weave

CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUES USED IN BINDING: Choose the construction technique used to make the quilt binding.

Bias grain

WIDTH OF QUILT BINDING: Choose the width (in inches) of the binding of the quilt. Measure from the front side only.

less than a half inch

MATERIAL USED FOR QUILT BATTING OR FILLING: Choose the fiber content that best describes the material used to fill the quilt.

Cotton

QUILTING TECHNIQUES USED: Choose the technique that best describes the way the quilt layers are held together.

Hand quilting

THREAD COLOR: Enter the color(s) of thread used to hold the quilt layers together.

white

QUILTING DESIGNS USED: MOTIFS/OVERALL PATTERNS: Choose the overall quilt design found on the quilt top.

Grid square

QUILTING DESIGNS USED: DECORATIVE PATTERNS: Choose the decorative quilt design found on the quilt top.

Feathering; Other

QUILTING DESIGNS USED: BACKGROUND FILL PATTERNS: Choose the background quilt design found on the quilt top.

Grid/crosshatch

PLEASE DESCRIBE OTHER QUILTING DESIGNS USED: Describe any other quilting designs that appear on the quilt.

Fleur-de-lis are quilted into each border scallop, rosettes and lines of feathering separate the wreaths.

ANY OTHER FEATURES OR NOTES ABOUT THE QUILT'S APPEARANCE, MATERIALS, OR CONSTRUCTION: Describe anything about the physical appearance of the quilt that wasn't already recorded in a previous field.

Gasperik traced the applique wreath (separated in two halves) and this kit's quilting design for use in her quilt Hungarian Harvest Festival (#014).

QUILT TOP MADE BY: Enter the name of the person(s) who made the quilt top.

Gasperik, Mary

QUILTED BY: Enter the name of the person(s) who quilted the top.

Gasperik, Mary

CITY: Enter the name of the city where the quilt was made.

Chicago

COUNTY: Enter the name of the county where the quilt was made.

Cook County

STATE: Enter the name of the state where the quilt was made.

Illinois (IL)

COUNTRY: Enter the name of the country where the quilt was made.

United States

HOW WAS QUILT ACQUIRED BY OWNER: Choose the best description for how the owner acquired the quilt.

Gift

DETAILS ON HOW THE QUILT WAS ACQUIRED:

Elsie brought Susan this quilt after Susan moved to California in late 1968.

QUILTMAKER'S REASONS FOR MAKING THE QUILT: If the quilt was made for a specific purpose, choose the reason from the list.

Personal enjoyment

QUILT WAS ORIGINALLY DESIGNED TO BE USED AS: Choose how the quilt was originally used.

Bedding, special occasion

OTHER PREVIOUS USE(S) OF QUILT: If the quilt was used for something other than what it is used for now, please describe. Example: Revolutionary War era ladies wore quilted skirts that were sometimes remade into quilts.

Susan hung it on her bedroom wall for many years. This wasn't a good idea, although it made her happy.

QUILT IS PRESENTLY USED AS: Choose how the quilt is being used by the present owner.

Keepsake/memento

OTHER PRESENT USE(S) OF QUILT: If you chose Other, please explain the quilt's present use.

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

SOURCE OF QUILT'S MATERIALS: Choose how the quilt maker acquired the fabric for this quilt.

Purchased new

QUILT TOP PATTERN SOURCE: Choose where the quilt maker found the pattern for this quilt.

Commercial/Published source: Kit; Other

OTHER TOP PATTERN SOURCE(S): If you chose Other, please explain where the pattern was found.

The six meadowlarks possibly Wyoming meadowlark from Aunt Martha state birds pattern.

COMMERCIAL SOURCE NAME(S): If you know the commercial name of the pattern used for this quilt, please enter it. This may include books, magazines, newsletters, pattern companies, computer software programs, and kits.

Wild Flower Wreath Paragon Quilt Kit #01010

QUILTING DESIGN PATTERN SOURCE: Choose where the quilt maker found the pattern for the quilting design used in this quilt.

Kit; Other

COMMERCIAL QUILTING DESIGN SOURCE NAME: If you know the commercial name of the quilting design used for this quilt, please enter it. This may include books, magazines, newsletters, pattern companies, etc.

Gasperik executed the Paragon kit's quilting patterns.

ANY ADDITIONAL NOTES OR STORIES ABOUT THE QUILT'S DESIGN OR MATERIALS SOURCE: Describe anything about the design of the quilt that wasn't already recorded in a previous field.

Gasperik changed the original kit by making the straight edges scalloped. She added appliqued meadowlarks between the wreath blocks. The source of this bird design is not known, but it closely resembles the Aunt Martha pattern #626 transfer design for making a meadowlark (see Wyoming state bird in this set of patterns).

EXHIBITIONS: List all known exhibits where this quilt has been displayed.

Grand-daughter Karen Krueger Finn remembers seeing this quilt on display at a Tuley Park quilt show, hanging next to Daisies Won't Tell. The year was probably 1949.

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

CONTESTS ENTERED: List contest(s) entered.

Illinois State Fair, 1960, Third Place ribbon

OTHER RELATED ITEMS: List other materials that exist about this quilt like oral histories, wills, diaries, or patterns.

Original and intact Paragon #01010 kit including intact box and cover, instruction sheet and complete set of fabrics. Susan Salser - private collection.

Appliqued and embroidered complete quilt TOP made from Paragon kit #01010 by unknown quilter. Susan Salser - private collection.

Family photograph dated June 1961 shows this quilt and 'Victory Garden' (#023) hanging on a clothesline in Gasperik's East Hazelcrest garden.

AVAILABLE SOURCES FOR QUILTMAKER: List other source materials about this quiltmaker such as photos, oral histories, book or newspaper publications, fame for some other reason or event.

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.

OWNERSHIP OF THIS QUILT IS:

Private

NAME OF QUILT OWNER:

Susan Krueger Salser

QUILT OWNER'S COUNTRY:

United States

AUTHOR/INTERVIEWEE'S RELATION TO THE QUILT:

Author/researcher; Blood relative of quiltmaker; Quilt owner

OTHER RELATIONSHIP TO SOURCE: If you chose Other, for the relationship to the source, describe the relationship here.

Grand-daughter

RELATIONSHIP OF SOURCE PERSON TO QUILT: Choose the best description of the relationship of the source to the quilt.

Quilt owner

IF SOURCE PERSON IS QUILT OWNER: If the source is the owner, choose how they came to own the quilt.

Received as a gift

OTHER INFORMATION ON SOURCE PERSON TO QUILT:

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

DEATH DATE OF THE QUILTMAKER, IF APPLICABLE:

05/25/1969

QUILTMAKER'S ETHNIC BACKGROUND:

Hungarian

QUILTMAKER'S EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND:

Elementary School

QUILTMAKER'S COUNTRY OF BIRTH:

Hungary

IN WHICH KIND OF ENVIRONMENT DID THE QUILTMAKER GROW UP?

Rural

CITY WHERE THE QUILTMAKER LIVES/LIVED:

Chicago

COUNTY WHERE THE QUILTMAKER LIVES/LIVED:

Cook

STATE WHERE THE QUILTMAKER LIVES/LIVED:

Illinois (IL)

COUNTRY WHERE THE QUILTMAKER LIVES/LIVED:

United States

QUILTMAKER'S FATHER'S NAME:

Mihalovits, Istvan

FATHER'S BIRTHPLACE:

Hungary

FATHER'S ETHNIC BACKGROUND:

Hungarian

QUILTMAKER'S MOTHER'S NAME:

Mihalovits, Vidoszava

MOTHER'S BIRTHPLACE:

Hungary

MOTHER'S ETHNIC BACKGROUND:

Hungarian

SPOUSE'S ETHNIC BACKGROUND:

Hungarian

SPOUSE'S OCCUPATION:

Milk Dealer/Grocery Store Owner/Butcher

NUMBER OF CHILDREN:

3

NUMBER OF FEMALE CHILDREN:

1 (Elsie 1909-1988)

NUMBER OF MALE CHILDREN:

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/DID THE QUILTMAKER QUILT:

Pleasure; Other

OTHER, WHY THE QUILTMAKER QUILTS:

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.

NAME OF QUILTING GROUP: If the quilt maker belonged to a group, enter the name of the group.

Tuley Park Quilt Club and Detroit News Quilt Club

LOCATION OF GROUP:

Southside Chicago and Detroit MI

SPECIALIZED ACTIVITIES/EVENTS OF QUILTING GROUP: Enter activities the group participated in.

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

ESTIMATED NUMBER OF QUILTS MADE BY THIS QUILTER:

more than 50

DID THE QUILTMAKER SELL QUILTS?

no

DOES/DID QUILTMAKER TEACH QUILTING: Is the quilt maker also a quilt teacher?

no

PHOTO CREDIT:

Don Gonzalez

ACCESS AND COPYRIGHT IS:

Restricted

HOLDER OF COPYRIGHT:

Hank Finn

Details

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Cite this Quilt

Gasperik, Mar. Meadow Lark and Peasant Wreath. 1937-1949. From Mary Gasperik Legacy Project, Mary Gasperik Private Collection. Published in The Quilt Index, https://quiltindex.org/view/?type=fullrec&kid=18-14-30. Accessed: 12/02/21

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