Quilt Show Sets Record of 18,000 Visitors in Hall

October 9, 1938
Detroit News Quilt History Project; Michigan State University Museum; Susan Salser
Detroit, Michigan, United States
An article describing the 1938 Detroit News Quilt Show.
Sisters Are Quilt Show Regulars
Mrs. Galton, Mrs. Caldwell, Mrs. Fisher
It's small wonder that Mrs. Emmons Galton and Mrs. Arthur Fisher, sisters, attend The Detroit news Quilt Show every year. It was through the Quilt Club that the two were reunited a few years ago after a separation of 33 years, caused by adoption. Here they are admiring one of the prize quilts with "Gran", Mrs. Nellie Caldwell, known and beloved by all Quilt Club members.

Quilt Show Sets Record of 18,000 Visitors in Hall
By Garnet Warfel

All kinds of records have been made at all kinds of shows held at Detroit's big Convention Hall throughout the years, but officials believe a new kind of record was established at The Detroit News Quilt Show there Saturday, when 18,000 women and men thronged the place.

The number, high as it is, did not include the estimated extra three or four thousand that entered the quilt exhibit hall from the Home Show, being held in another unit of the hall. Both shows will close at 10 o'clock tonight.

Two thousand quilts displayed from long racks, arranged to form aisles at the hall, are a startling sight, and strike the visitor as something akin to a super scene from Hollywood production.

Today's crowd was expected to include persons from all over Michigan and nearby states as well, since Sunday always has been designated as "Out of Town Day". However, the show is for everybody interested in quilts, and the doors open at 11 a.m. The show is being directed by Miss Edith B. Crumb, The News interior decorator.

Winner Honored
All day crowds surrounded Mrs. Mary Gasperik of Chicago winner of one of the big prizes for the best appliqued quilt. Mrs. Gasperik was radiant as she and her friend, Mrs. W. J. Reynolds, who accompanied her here from Chicago, told of getting "connected" with the local show.

A baseball fan, Mrs. Gasperik went to the opening Chicago game of the 1935 World Series. There, by her seat, she found a Detroit News and read about Miss Crumb's Quilt Club.

The next year Mrs. Gasperik came to the quilt show. She came back in 1937 with four quilts to exhibit. She received four honorable mentions. This year, she took a big prize. Mrs. Gaperik is Hungarian but has lived in America 32 years.

Many count upon seeing Mrs. Emmons Galton and Mrs. Arthur Fisher at the quilt show every year. And they are not disappointed. Mrs. Galton and Mrs. Fisher are the sisters who were reunited several years ago because of the Quilt Club. They had been separated through adoption when children. They feel the show is their party, and virtually all day long stand in a never ending receiving line.

New Nursery Style
An outstanding feature of the quilts exhibited this year, is the modern trend in bed covering for the nursery or children's room. The old, familiar figures of nursery quilts have given away to ones which todays children are all familiar.

A Shirley Temple quilt depicts in its various blocks the little movie star sailing, riding, eating carrots, and such. Then there is a fascinating Show White quilt that is one of the shows biggest attractions. Snow White is the figure in the center and about her are shown the seven dwarfs, along with the little fawn, the birds and bunnies that played such an important role in her picture.

One quilt is "The Little Maids" a News pattern and each little maid is shown wearing a different kind of dress, with real hair showing beneath her bonnet. A Mother Goose quilt of exquisite workmanship shows Jack Spratt and his wife at the table, which is covered with a red and white checkered cloth. The boy John, who went to bed with one shoe on is shown in bed, under a coverlet of gay quilted design. This lovely quilt is exhibited by Mrs. H. Krigber, 1477 Cicotte Street, Lincoln Park.

And there is always a line in front of the special rack that holds the Nancy Brown Column House quilt. The pattern was shown in Experience. It is "Column House" and shows a porch and a doorway. Over the door is the embroidered name of the columnist and the great popularity of Nancy's column is shown in the drawing power of this unfinished quilt.

Mrs. Elmer Empson of Colon, Mich.; Mrs. Byron Banta of Breedsville; Mrs. Glayds Kennedy of Macomb, Ill. and Mrs. Frances Purcell of Hemlock, Ind., are a few who visit the show each year.

​Courtesy of The Detroit News Archives.

Load More