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Dresden Plate; Dresden Plate

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quilt

QUILT INDEX RECORD

18-14-77

DESCRIPTION:

This quilt was made and raffled to raise money for victims of the Johnstown, PA flood. This photo (September 1936) shows the quilt hanging in her husband's store window. A placard reads: "Help the Flood Sufferers! A Beautiful Quilt Will be Raffled. Proceeds to Go To Red Cross. Chances are only 10 cents per. Help the Unfortunates! Quilt maker . . . Mary Gasperik." On St. Patrick's Day of 1936 a disastrous flood wiped out nearly one-third of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. By the time the waters had receded on the evening of the second day, $50 million in damage had been inflicted, 25 people had been killed and 9000 were left homeless. The disaster received national news coverage, and Mary Gasperik decided to try to help.

ESSAY:

When Gasperik pieced her Dresden Plate, she was choosing to make what was probably the single most popular pattern offered by The Detroit News and hanging in Detroit quilt shows of the 1930s. Gasperik discovered the Detroit News quilt club and quilt shows in October 1935. She was an enthusiastic participant until they ended in 1941. As the Detroit News quilt club and show director Edith B. Crumb wrote in her column "Quilters Are Same Today As in the Olden Times" (Detroit News December 31, 1935, p. 18): "...A hundred years from now if quilts we have made were brought together -- think what the result would be! There would be hundreds and hundreds of Dresden Plates, Nosegays, Flower Gardens, etc..." In the case of this quilt, as so many others, the influence of what Gasperik saw at the Detroit News quilt show greatly influenced her quilt-making choices.

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.

070

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.

Dresden Plate

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.

Dresden Plate

OVERALL WIDTH: Enter how wide the quilt is.

Unknown

OVERALL LENGTH: Enter how long the quilt is.

Unknown

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

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

Multicolor

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

Unknown/Not Rated

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.

1936

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

1936

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

1935-40

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.

The date is based on the only evidence of the quilt--a b/w photo dated September 1936.

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

Block pattern

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.

Straight

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.

One

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.

"Ice Cream Cone" border along outside edge. Print fabric alternating with a solid fabric.

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

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

Cotton

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

Cotton

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.

Raffle or contest prize

ANY ADDITIONAL STORIES OR NOTES ABOUT THE QUILT'S OWNERSHIP OR HISTORY: Describe anything about the history of the quilt that wasn't already recorded in a previous field.

It is not known who won the raffle for this quilt or what became of it after it was displayed in the Gasperik Market's front window in 1936.

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

Fundraising

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

Unknown

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.

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

Commercial/Published source: 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.

McCall Printed Pattern With Transfer #74, featuring Dresden Plate and Fan Design.

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.

Although impossible to tell from the 1936 photograph (the only surviving image of this quilt), the quilting design Gasperik used was probably the one proposed by McCall pattern #74.

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

Mary Gasperik probably used "McCall Printed Pattern With Transfer #74 featuring Dresden Plate and Fan Design for Quilts". One of these original patterns is in the private collection of Susan Salser. Gasperik's own copy of McCall #74, along with most of her quilting materials and patterns, did not survive.

Mary received a thank you letter from the American Red Cross dated, December 12, 1936.

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.

AUTHOR/INTERVIEWEE'S RELATION TO THE QUILT:

Author/researcher; Blood relative of quiltmaker

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

Grand-daughter

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:

Mary Gasperik made quilts because it was her life passion and greatest talent. As opportunities arose, she entered contests and exhibited them publicly. She also made special quilts for her family.

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

ANY OTHER NOTES OR STORIES ABOUT THE QUILTMAKER: Enter any information about the quilt maker not already entered in a previous field.

A Susan Salser memory: My sister Linda remembers that Mary Gasperik originally wanted to send the quilt to Pennsylvania. Mary's son-in-law, our father, Maynard C. Krueger (an economics instructor at University of Chicago and a prominent member of the American Socialist Party) persuaded her that she would do more good by raffling the quilt and sending the money to Johnstown, PA than she would by sending the actual quilt to Pennsylvania. That is evidently what she decided to do. All of us remember (from a time years later than 1936 ) that whenever grandma mentioned that someone had enquired about purchasing one of her quilts, our father would ask her to estimate just how many hours she had put into making the quilt. He would inquire about the cost of her materials. He would make (aloud) some arithmetical calculations. And then he would triumphantly - and at length - demonstrate to all family members seated around the Gasperik dining table that she was considering selling her quilts for practically nothing, when translated into hourly wages. And he would ask, of Gasperik herself, if that in fact is what she proposed to do. I think both of them were quite pleased with this exercise. She concluded that her son-in-law valued her work, which made her happy. He made sure those fair-goers who saw her quilts on display and asked to buy them from her, did not succeed in doing so. He was also giving his own daughters a demonstration of the practical uses of arithmetic, instructing them in how to go about forming a value system and (subliminally) registering the importance of meaningful hourly wages. Krueger had spent some time, just a few years earlier, speech-making for labor unions and against the power of big banks in - dare I say it? – Pennsylvania. Stories such as this may well explain just how it has come to pass that a wonderful and large collection of quilts made by Mary Gasperik still remains with family members.

PHOTO CREDIT:

unknown, is a family photo

ACCESS AND COPYRIGHT IS:

Restricted

HOLDER OF COPYRIGHT:

Susan Salser

Details

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Cite this Quilt

Gasperik, Mar. Dresden Plate. 1936. From Mary Gasperik Legacy Project, Mary Gasperik Private Collection. Published in The Quilt Index, https://quiltindex.org/view/?type=fullrec&kid=18-14-77. Accessed: 12/09/21

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