Quilt Index Record:
a Essay Historical Backgrounddescription
The penciled block with attached fabric swatches identical to the original quilt shown here was likely sent by Gasperik to a Detroit News quilt club member (Emma Zawatski, Sturgis, Michigan) who requested a pattern when she saw this quilt at a Detroit quilt show. essay
Mary Gasperik sent a total of three pattern tracings of this quilt's border and two blocks (the Star and the five-star block) with attached fabrics to Emma Zawatski in Sturgis, Michigan, another quilter she met through the Detroit News column.
Susan Salser purchased the tracings at an online auction site in November 2007. She later found Zawatski's name on an invitation list Mary Gasperik had compiled for her 50th wedding anniversary. These tracings show that Gasperik may have shared her own designs with others at an early stage of her quilting career.
Mary Gasperik Private CollectionInstInvContrNumF004
Information source fieldsIdentPersonF006
Blood relative of quiltmaker
Grand-daughter Susan Salser began this research effort in 1991, after she and her two sisters divided up the quilts which belonged to their mother (Elsie Gasperik Krueger) who died in 1988. Her ongoing research has been fruitful and interesting.
Overall Quilt DescriptionTypeObjF008
Quilt with Pattern SheetQuiltTitleF009
Star Arcturus-Century of ProgressOwnerNameF010
Star Arcturus-Century of ProgressBrackmanF011a
Blue or Navy
Bright or primary colorsOverCondF015
Very good/almost newTypeInscripF019
"Star Arcturus/A CENTURY OF PROGPESS 1934 M.G." DateInscripF020a
English was not Mary's native tongue. She embroidered "PROGPESS" instead of "PROGRESS"LocInscripF022
Date based on Nancy Cabot quilt pattern by the same name published on Oct 22, 1933 in the Chicago Tribune.
Quilt top descriptionLayFormatF024
Star Arcturus, Chicago World's FairNumBlockF026
13 x 13ArrangeBlockF028
Star Block alternates with a blue block with five small stars appliqued to it.NumBlockPatF030
One scalloped border.BordDescF034
Scallops with appliqued 3-color fans alternate with plain, pointy, scallops. Orange moons with embroidered faces are appliqued into the four corners of the quilt.
Quilt top materials and constructionFiberTypesF035
Quilt back materials and constructionFabFiberTypesF040
Blue or NavyNumPiecesF042
33 inches, 33 inches, 11 inches DescBackF043
less than a half inch
Thin (Less than 3/16")
Quilt notes and observationsFeaturesF053
In this quilt, the backing fabric is the same color as the front. It is an unusual choice for Mary Gasperik. Since it is one of her earliest quilts, one wonders if it was personal choice or advice from the Tuley Park Quilt Club.
In 1988, Elsie Krueger's three daughters divided up the quilts left to them after Elsie's death. Susan Salser selected Star Arcturus in the fourth round. At the time, the quilt was under-appreciated by all three of them!QuiltHistF059
Quilt purposes usesReasonsF060
Mary's grandchildren regard her quilts as a unique collection to be preserved and appreciated.
Quilt design and materials sourcesSourceMatF063
Commercial/Published source: Newspaper
Source of embroidered moon faces in the four corners is "Modern Hand Embroidery Patterns: The Wonder Package" offered by Donald F. Duncan Inc., a Chicago company, in 1933. CommSourceF064b
Nancy Cabot/Chicago Tribune: Star Arcturus Century of ProgressPattSourceF065
Original to maker
QuiltING patterns Q403 and Q504 (Hubert Ver Mehren Home Art Studio) were used in the blocks. Q403 (side portion only) used in border. Q504 (transformed for use as an applique)AddNotesF066
A clipping of the original October 22, 1933 Nancy Cabot newspaper column which presented the Century of Progress rocket-star pattern is pasted into Mary Gasperik's album of quilt patterns.
Exhibition history of quiltExhibitListF067a
Probably exhibited at the third Detroit News Quilt Show October 18-20, 1935, the first Detroit show Mary Gasperik sent quilts to and attended.
Probably exhibited in at least one of the annual Tuley Park quilt shows between 1936 and 1949. We have an undated exhibit tag reading "Arcturus Star Quilt by Mrs. M. Gasperik".
-- "The Quilts of Mary Gasperik," Ann Anastasio, Curator, Livermore Historic Site, Ravenswood, CA, March 14-15, 1992.
-- "Patchwork Souvenirs of the 1933 Chicago World's Fair," nationally traveling exhibit in 1993-94 curated by Merikay Waldvogel and Barbara Brackman.
-- "1933 Chicago World's Fair Quilts" at the Spring International Quilt Festival in Chicago (Rosemont), April 11-13, 2003, curated by Merikay Waldvogel.
Quilt ownership and contact infoOwnershipF082
Susan Krueger SalserOwnerCountryF086b
Susan Krueger SalserDateObtainedF088c
Other source materials available for this quiltRelItemsF088a
"Patchwork Souvenirs of the 1933 Chicago World's Fair" by Barbara Brackman and Merikay Waldvogel, published in Quilter's Newsletter Magazine (July/August 1994), offered readers a pattern for making the moon Mary Gasperik put in the four corners of her Star Arcturus quilt.
"The 1933 World's Fair Quilt Contest and its Aftermath" in Piecework magazine (July/August 1995), pp. 71-77, presented a color photograph of the quilt and a pattern for making a bib using the star and rocket motif.
Family photos show this quilt, and other Gasperik quilts, airing on a clothesline.
Quiltmaker personal informationMaidenF097b
9314 Cottage GroveCountyF106
Quiltmaker Family historyFatherNameF109
Milk Dealer/Grocery Store Owner/ButcherNoChildF116
1 (Elsie 1909-1988)NoMaleF116b
2 (Elmer and Stephen)
Quiltmaker personal quilting historyLearnedToQuiltF117
From guild or club memberWhenQuiltF118
She made quilts to exhibit in shows and contests. Later in life, she made quilts especially for her children and grandchildren. In short, she made quilts because it was her life passion and her greatest talent.
Quiltmakers Membership in quilting groupNameGroupF120
Tuley Park Quilt Club, Detroit News Quilt Club Conducted by Edith Crumb, editor of the Home Page.LocGroupF121
Tuley Park is the Chicago public park closest to Mary's residence on Cottage Grove. Readers of The Detroit News quilt column were from far corners of the United States. They "met" through the quilt column in the Detroit News.SpecialGroupF122
Readers of the column sent in patterns and pattern requests. The club actually met together at the time of the annual quilt show. IN October 1936 they began gathering every Friday afternoon AT The Detroit News.
Other quilts made by quiltmakerNumQuiltsF123
more than 50SellQuiltF127
Other source materials available for quiltmakerOtherSourceMat
Merikay Waldvogel and Barbara Brackman. Patchwork Souvenirs of the 1933 Chicago World's Fair (Nashville, TN: Rutledge Hill Press, 1993)102-103.
Merikay Waldvogel "One American Dream Comes True" Quilters Newsletter Magazine, March 2008, 46-49.
Partial quilt with block patternImageTypeF076
Image - medium display (250-550 pixels)file_medium
MATRIX: Center for Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences Online at Michigan State University, Michigan State University Museum, Alliance For American QuiltsPublisher
Quilt IndexResource Type