Quilt Show Doors Open

May 24, 1940
Detroit News Quilt History Project; Michigan State University Museum; Susan Salser
Detroit, Michigan, United States
An article describing the 1940 Detroit News Quilt Show.
Quilt Show Doors Open
2,000 Entries on Exhibit at Naval Armory

By far the finest of the long line of Detroit News Quilt Shows, from the standpoint of quality, quantity, and variety stood in readiness to delight the greatest throng of visitors. When the doors opened at the United States Naval Armory on Jefferson Avenue near the Belle Isle Bridge shortly after noon today.

Over 2,000 entries about 500 or more than last year, were hung on large racks running in four wide rows the length of the armory and a quilt, coverlet, rug, or apron of some design not here represented can scarcely be imagined. Before the doors had been open an hour, the room was completely crowded- in keeping with the history of past quit shows. Presiding was Miss Edith B. Crumb, director of the show. In evidence, too, were the three judges Mrs. Harry V. Woodhouse, Detroit Club woman, Mrs. Charles F. Laughlin, antique collector, and Mrs. Samuel Coburn, teacher of design who were hard to put to it in the matter of selecting the prize winning quilts, since virtually every quilt in the giant collection seemed worthy of one or more scores.

Open 3 Days
The show, which is free, will be open today, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a. m. until 10 p. m. The apron display got so out of hand because of the entries that poured in, a special room was set aside for that exhibit alone.

The early arrivals stood 10 deep around the nursery quilt exhibit, located near the main entrance. And small wonder, for never in Detroit has such a collection of beautiful quilts for children been shown. One, made by Mrs. W. R. Goodson, 501 East Elin street, Monroe (quilts are from all over Detroit, Michigan and the United States) was a splendid example

It contains 36 blocks of Mother Goose rhymes in pictures. Old Mother Hubbard has real black fringe on her quaint shawl; Little Miss Muffet wears a real hand embroidered ruffled collar, and Snow White is prettier than a picture in her lace edged dress. The kerchief in the pocket of Ding Dong Bell caught every eye as an extra smart touch, and the doughty captain in three men went to sea in a bowl wears real metallic braid on his uniform, the cow in the cow jumped over the moon wears a real bell and Baa Baa the Black Sheep is covered in real black wool. Each block shows originality and the workmanship is so artistic that a flag couldn't be found with a high powered lens.

Birds Supply Motif
Another quilt in this division that caught every eye was the bird design in crewel embroidery- about 30 different birds, and some birds they are. These are the handiwork of Mrs. W. L. Dyer, 13389 Madison Avenue, Lakewood, O.

Mrs. T. L. Nelson, 874 Westchester road, Grosse Pointe, submitted two beautiful little girls quilts for her two daughters, and the two daughters submitted two doll quilts for their own make believe family. One circus quilt depicts graceful and beautiful circus animals; and there are dozens more in this section alone. There are, it was estimated billions of stitches in the show.

In the novelty class is the Cameo quilt, with a large cameo in the center picturing New York Harbor by night, and other New York Scenes in quilting at the sides and bottom. It was made by Mrs. F. J. Writz, 109 East Grant street, Caro, Mich.

Comes from Chicago
Another quilt comes from a Hungarian woman living in Chicago. Mrs. Mary Gasperik. It depicts her own life in this country from the time of her arrival here in 1927. Mrs. Gasperik will be among a bus load of women coming to the show from Chicago.

One of the lovely quilts shown is the patchwork lady design made by Mrs. Marjorie Miller. A real tiny quilt sewing away for dear life- each lady a little different in dress, coiffure, etc.

Lovers of antiques will revel by the hour in the antique division, filled with coverlets, quilts and tops, some of them 150 years old. And all this isn't a drop in the bucket to what the show offers. A pleasant place to go for a little mingling with the fine old home arts to forget, if only for a little time, the troubles that beset the earth.

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