Idiot Star; Idiot Star; Star





Minnesota Quilt Project Documentation Number:


When was the form filled out?


Where was the quilt documentation day held?

Minneapolis, Minnesota

If this quilt is owned by a museum, enter the accession number:


Ownership of this quilt is:


Where are the records for this quilt housed?

Minnesota Quilters Inc.

Who documented this quilt?

Minnesota Quilt Project

Materials used to make the back:


Describe the back:

Print; Same fabric used throughout

Number of pieces of fabric in the quilt back:


How wide is the quilt?

49 in

How long is the quilt?

60.5 in

Size of quilt blocks:

9.75" x 9.75"

Sashing width:


Number of quilting stitches per inch, place 1:


Number of quilting stitches per inch, place 2:


Border description:

Border 1 (closest to center): in., sides, ; Border 2:

This is a:

Finished quilt

Quilt's title:

Idiot Star

Shape of edge:


Shape of corners:

Straight (Square)

Overall color scheme:


What color(s) is the quilt?

Black; Blue or Navy; Yellow

Quilt's condition:

Excellent/like new

Family/owner's date for quilt:


Time period:


Type of inscription:

Date; Message; Multiple Names

What is inscribed on the quilt?

Back: "Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May" Shakespeare/ made by one rosebud and five American beauties/The quilt belongs to me/ Helen Kelley 1989"

Method used to make the inscription:

Attached label; Embroidery; Ink

Location of inscription:

on back; on block

Describe the quilt's layout:

Block pattern

Number of quilt blocks:


Number of different block patterns used in the quilt:

one w/color variations

Owner's name for quilt:

Idiot Star

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


What is the shape of the quilt blocks?


Arrangement of quilt blocks:

On point or rotated on 45 degrees

Spacing of quilt blocks:

Side by side

Describe the quilt setting:

Plain sashing surrouns all sides of all blocks

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


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


Fabric styles used in the quilt top:

Novelty; Print; Solid/plain; Striped

Piecing techniques used to make the quilt top:

Machine Piecing

Embellishment techniques used to make the quilt top:

Attachments (beading, charms, buttons, etc); Embroidery; Other embellishment technique

Describe any unusual techniques used to make the quilt top:

plastic flamingo,spool, thread, pin, plastic stars, cartoon face

Embellishments used:

Beads attached; Buttons attached; Charms attached; Cotton thread

Describe embellishment materials or techniques:

rosebuds on back

Materials used in the quilt binding:


Fabric structure of the binding:

Plain weave

How is the binding made?

Bias grain

What kind of filling is used in the quilt?


Quilting techniques used:

Hand quilting

Color of thread used in the quilting:


Quilting designs used, overall motifs:


Quilting designs used, decorative motifs:


Describe the quilting designs used:

teacup, peanuts

Where did the maker get their materials?

Sewing scraps

Where did the maker find their pattern?

Original to maker; Traditional pattern variation

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

Original to maker; Public domain

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

names inscribed on each block - one per block: Marge Anderson, Connie Pluhar, Helen Kelley, Helen Lange, Mary L.Chmiel, Norma Ahlquist

Quilt top made by:

Kelley, Helen

Quilted by:

Kelley, Helen

Quiltmaker's country:

United States

Quiltmaker's gender:


Quiltmaker's birth date:

April 28, 1927

Quiltmaker's birthplace, city:


Quiltmaker's birthplace, state:

New Jersey

Quiltmaker's birthplace, country:

United States

Quiltmaker's date and place of death:

September 1, 2008

Quiltmaker's ethnic background/tribal affiliation:

English, German

Quiltmaker's educational background:

BA, Northwestern University, 1947

Quiltmaker's religious affiliation:


In which kind of environment did the quiltmaker live?


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


Number of children:


How many of the quiltmaker's children were girls?


How many of the quiltmaker's children were boys?


How did the quiltmaker learn to quilt?


When did the quiltmaker learn to quilt?

Age 20-29

Why does the quiltmaker quilt?

Church; Gifts; Income; Pleasure; Therapy

Estimated number of quilts made by this quiltmaker:

more than 50

Does/did the quiltmaker sell quilts?


Does/did the quiltmaker teach quilting?


Describe any favorite patterns, tools, etc. used by the quiltmaker:

Postage stamp quilts, with a scene from a favorite trip and the address and stamp depicted on the back.

Any other notes or stories about the quiltmaker:

Among the many honors that Kelley received throughout her career in quilting and service to her community were: 1995—Artist of Distinction, Fiber/Metal Arts of Minnesota; 1998—Minnesota Quilter of the Year; 1999—”Renaissance” was selected by a prestigious national committee of quiltmakers and quilt historians as one of the 100 best quilts of the 20th century, a project organized by the International Quilt Association (“Renaissance” is now in the collection of the Minnesota Historical Society); and in 2000 Kelley was selected to receive the Minnesota Textile Center’s Spun Gold Award. Kelley continued to lecture, teach, and exhibit her work right up to her sudden death September 1, 2008. A 30-year retrospective of her work was on exhibit in Marion, Indiana, during her induction into The Quilter Hall of Fame as its 38th Honoree, July 17-19, 2008.

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

Minnesota Quilters, Inc., North Presbyterian Quilters

Where does/did the group meet?

Minneapolis, MN; St. Paul, MN

What are the main activities of the group?

Education of quilters and promotion of quilting. Quilts for the needy.

Person filling out this form is:

Quilt owner; Spouse of quiltmaker

Choose the best description of the source to the quilt:

Quilt owner

If you are the quilt owner, how did you acquire this quilt?


How was this quilt acquired?


Tell the story of how the quilt was obtained:

Inherited from maker, September 2008.

Where the quilt was made, city:


Where the quilt was made, county:


Where the quilt was made, state:

Minnesota (MN)

Where the quilt was made, country:

United States

Why was the quilt made?

Art or personal expression

List related photographs, letters, interview tapes etc. relating to the quilt only:

Wrote 7 books. Obituary 9/11/2008, Mpls Star Tribune. Quilters Hall of Fame website.

Access and copyright information:


Copyright holder:

Bill Kelley

Who photographed this quilt?

Gail Bakkom

Cite this Quilt

Kelley, Hele. Idiot Star. 1976-1999. From Minnesota Quilters Inc., Minnesota Quilt Project. Published in The Quilt Index, Accessed: 12/02/22