Rising Sun

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Commercial Sources: Hubert Ver Mehren c/o Needleart Co., 609 South Paulina St, Chicago, IL Hubert Ver Mehren c/o Needleart Co., 609 South Paulina St, Chicago, IL
Top By: Carpenter, Lillie Belle Shaffer
Quilted By: Carpenter, Lillie Belle Shaffer
Period: 1930-1949
Date: 1933
Location Made: Hyndman, Pennsylvania (PA) United States
Project Name: Sears Quilt Contest 1933 Chicago World's Fair
Contributor: Waldvogel Archival Collection
ID Number: 008
Layout Format: Medallion or framed center
Quilt Size: x
Fabrics: Cotton, Sateen
Colors: Orange, Yellow
Construction: Hand Piecing
Quilting Techniques: Hand quilting
Purpose or Function: Challenge or Contest entry, Gift or presentation, Bedding, special occasion
Description: This quilt made by Lillie Belle Shaffer Carpenter of Hyndman, Pennsylvania won first place at the Philadelphia Regional round of judging and therefore was exhibited at the Sears Pavilion at the Chicago World's Fair in the Summer of 1933. It did not win one of the three top national awards. In 1934, when the organizers re-opened the Fair for a second season, Sears invited back the top 10 regional winners for a special exhibit. Mrs. Carpenter saved her ribbons, the correspondence with Sears, the listing of winners in the Philadelphia round, a newspaper account with photos of the top three winning quilts, and letters from people who attended the 1933 exhibit asking her for the pattern. The pattern named "Rising Sun" is a commercial pattern she bought from Hubert Ver Mehren. The family called it "Sunburst."
Other Notes: The whereabouts of the original quilt is not known. , This commercial pattern for both the piecing templates and the quilting designs was sold through a mail order catalog in 1932. The pattern was also available as a kit with the necessary fabrics in the correct color shading. It is likely Mrs. Carpenter used a kit for her original quilt as well as the duplicate. , A poem was written by Mildred Carpenter in honor of Lillie Belle's quilting honor. Her Skillful Hands I see her sitting by a quilting frame; I see her shining needle weaving a pattern; She does not think her work will make for her a name Or that a lot of money she might ear. 'Twas just a bit of handwork for a brother; 'Twas just another act of helpfulness and love; "Twas just a bit from the dull life of a mother; "Twas just another accomplishment to approve. I see her hands as they skillfully stitch, stitch, stitch. Oh no, you would say, they are not very pretty, Not soft, tapering, and white like the idle rich but hands of a farmer's wife who does her duty. It is the old, old story proven once again, Using one's intellect and one's hand for service; A fully rich, most abundant life you attain And thru the hardship comes the rising sun of bliss.
Related Items/Publications: Family owns a number of important documents related to the 1933 Sears Quilt Contest. Many were photocopied in 1992 for the quilt's story in Patchwork Souvenirs. These photocopied materials include: Philadelphia newspaper account with photos of winning quilts, and the three judges; a photo of Lillie Belle Carpenter c. 1910; List of Philadelphia Regional winners and their hometowns; Newspaper (probably Hyndman, PA) "Hyndman Woman Wins in Quilting Contest"; Two similar articles; Letter dated May 27, 1933 from Sears Contest organizer tellng her that she won first place of $200 in the Philadelphia reion; Letter dated June 22, 1933, from Sears Contest organizer announcing the top 3 national winners; Letter dated August 2, 1933 from Sears contest organizer saying the company planned to publish a booklet of the winning pattern designs; Letter dated November 14, 1933 from Sears contest organizer, telling Carpenter her quilt would be returned to her; Letter from Needleart Co referencing the commercial pattern; Letters from viewers inquiring about the source of pattern.
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