Autumn Leaves





Description of quilt:

Appliqué Quilt in Anne Orr design that won Fourth Prize in National Round.


The 1933 Sears National Quilt Contest was announced in January 1933 with a deadline of May 15, 1933. Over 24,000 quilts were entered at local Sears stores or sent to one of 10 regional mail order houses. Quilts were judged at each site with the top three winners moving onto the next round. Finally just 30 quilts reached the final judging held at the Sears Pavilion on the 1933 Chicago World's Fair site. This quilt by Mary Hilliker of Missouri won Honorable Mention (the equivalent of Fourth Prize) at the national judging. It was photographed by Sears in 1934 when the quilt was included in the smaller exhibit of regional winners at the Sears Pavilion. Waldvogel and Brackman tried diligently to locate the quilt for inclusion in the Patchwork Souvenirs book and exhibit, but were unsuccessful. Later, a quilt dealer purchased the quilt from the quilter's descendants and has since allowed it to be photographed and exhibited in Nashville. Interestingly, this Autumn Leaves pattern was designed by Anne Orr, who was one of the final round judges. Another quilt in the same pattern reached the final round, too. See #157.

Where are the records for this quilt housed?

Merikay Waldvogel Legacy Project

Who documented this quilt?

Merikay Waldvogel Legacy Project; Sears Quilt Contest 1933 Chicago World's Fair

Merikay Waldvogel Legacy Project Number:


This is a:

Finished quilt

Quilt's title:

Autumn Leaves

What color is the quilt?


Overall color scheme:

Light or pastel colors

When was the quilt started?


When was the quilt finished?


Describe the quilt's layout:

Medallion or framed center

Fiber types used to make the quilt top:


Fabric styles used in the quilt top:

Floral; Geometric; Solid/plain

Piecing techniques used to make the quilt top:

Hand Piecing

Applique techniques used to make the quilt top:

Hand Applique

How are the layers held together?

Hand quilting

Quilting designs used, overall motifs:

Grid diamond

Quilting designs used, decorative motifs:


Quilting designs used, background fills:


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

Prairie Points are added to the edges.

Quilt top made by:

Hilliker, Mary

Quilted by:

Hilliker, Mary

Where the quilt was made, city:

Carl Junction

Where the quilt was made, state:

Missouri (MO)

Where the quilt was made, country:

United States

How was this quilt acquired?


Why was the quilt made?

Challenge or Contest entry

Quilt is presently used as:


Where did the maker get their materials?

Purchased new

Where did the maker find their pattern?

Commercial/Published source: Pattern; Commercial/Published source: Kit

Commercial name of the pattern for the top:

Autumn Leaves by Anne Orr Studios. The design was offered as a pattern and a kit.

Contests entered:

Kansas City regional contest and the national round judging of the Sears National Quilt Contest, 1933 Chicago World's Fair.

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

Merikay Waldvogel and Barbara Brackman. Patchwork Souvenirs of the 1933 World's Fair (Nashville, TN: Rutledge Hill Press, 1993), pg 44 and 108.

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

B/W photo of the quilt is included in Patchwork Souvenirs, pg 44 (Permission Provided by Sears Archives). Sears Catalog page listing Regional Prize Winners - see pg 108 Patchwork Souvenirs.

Ownership of this quilt is:


Quilt owner's country:

United States

Quiltmaker's maiden name:


Quiltmaker's gender:


In which kind of environment did the quiltmaker live?


Quiltmaker's city:

Carl Junction

Quiltmaker's state:

Missouri (MO)

Quiltmaker's country:

United States

Who photographed this quilt?

Gary Heatherly

Access and copyright information:


Copyright holder:

Merikay Waldvogel

Cite this Quilt

Hilliker, Mar. Autumn Leaves. 1933. From Merikay Waldvogel Legacy Project, Merikay Waldvogel Legacy Project; Sears Quilt Contest 1933 Chicago World's Fair. Published in The Quilt Index, Accessed: 02/22/24