Quilt Index Record:
Essay Historical Backgrounddescription
Iris appliqué quilt made from an Anne Orr Studio kit quilt. essay
This quilt entered by Flora Wade of Knoxville, Tennessee, won a second place ribbon in the Atlanta region and consequently went on to the national round of judging in Chicago. It remained in Chicago for the length of the 1933 Fair.
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.
Interestingly, Anne Orr was one of the final round judges. Several quilts made in her pattern and kit designs were entered, but none of them received one of the top three honors.
Waldvogel Archival CollectionInstProjNameF003a
Sears Quilt Contest 1933 Chicago World's FairInstInvContrNumF004
Information source fieldsIdentPersonF006
Blood relative of quiltmakerDateDataF006b
Overall Quilt DescriptionTypeObjF008
Iris (Second Place - Atlanta Region)OverallWidthF12a
Light or pastel colorsDateQuiltF023
This kit quilt was available in 1933. It was featured in Anne Orr's Good Housekeeping article (Jan 1933) in which she announced she would be judging the final round of the Sears National Quilt Contest.LayFormatF024
Medallion or framed center
Quilt top materials and constructionFiberTypesF035
Wade, Flora SextonQuiltedByF055
Wade, Flora Sexton
At her death, the quilt went to family members. A great niece owned the quilt in 1994 at the time of the exhibit.
Quilt purposes usesReasonsF060
Challenge or Contest entryPresUseF062
Quilt design and materials sourcesTopSourceF064
Commercial/Published source: KitCommSourceF064b
Anne Orr Studio - Iris
Exhibitions and ContestsExhibitListF067a
This quilt was chosen for the exhibition of 30 quilts entitled “Patchwork Souvenirs of the 1933 World’s Fair” curated by Merikay Waldvogel and Barbara Brackman.
The goal of the exhibit was to include as many of the top 30 regional winning quilts as possible. This quilt had not been seen since 1933 when we began the search to find it. The quilt was described as yellow and orange Iris quilt in the Atlanta newspaper account of the regional contest. Waldvogel was not surprised when the quilt was finally found in South Carolina to learn that the quilt was an Anne Orr kit.
Anne Orr was well-known nationally but especially in Tennessee. When it was learned that she was a national judge, some quiltmakers made her kits.
Others that won were "Autumn Leaves" entered by two people in the final round, "Lincoln Quilt" entered by a woman from Kentucky, and this one by Flora Wade.
The Knoxville Museum of Art and Smith-Kramer, Inc. coordinated the travelling exhibition to the following sites: Jan 7-Feb 7, 1994 Palm Beach, FL (The Society of the Four Arts); Mar 20-July 17, 1994 Lexington, MA (Museum of Our National Heritage); Aug 7–Sep 25, 1994 Midland, MI (Midland Center for the Arts); Oct 16–Dec 4, 1994 Logan, KS (Dane G. Hansen Memorial Museum; Dec 18, 1994–Apr 23, 1995 Chicago, IL (Chicago Cultural Center); May 10-Jul 2, 1995 Grosse Pointe Shores, MI (Edsel and Eleanor Ford House); Jul 23-Sep 10, 1995 Los Angeles, CA (Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum); Oct 1-Nov 19, 1995 Janesville, WI (Rock County Historical Society); Dec 10, 1995-Jan 28, 1996 Neenah, WI (Bergstrom-Mahler Museum); Feb 18-Apr 8, 1996 Lexington, KY (University of Kentucky Art Museum); May 3-July 24, 1996 Knoxville, TN (Knoxville Museum of Art).ContestListF071a
Sears Quilt Contest, 1933 Chicago World's Fair
Quilt ownership and contact infoOwnershipF082
Other source materials available for this quiltRelItemsF088a
Anne Orr Studio pamphlet of kit quilts.
Good Housekeeping Magazine (Jan 1933) article by Anne Orr.
Quiltmaker personal informationMaidenF097b
Merikay Waldvogel and Barbara Brackman. Patchwork Souvenirs of the 1933 World's Fair (Nashville, TN: Rutledge Hill Press, 1993), pp. 27-28.SpouseF113
Other quilts made by quiltmakerAddNotesF132
Flora Sexton was born in Friendsville, Tennessee, a Quaker community. Trained as a nurse, she took a job at a nearby Knoxville hospital. One night injured and badly burned passengers and workers from a railroad accident arrived at the hospital in ambulances. One of her patients was Joe Wade. They fell in love, married and lived on Scott Street in Knoxville for the rest of their lives. His hobby was woodworking. hers was quilting. A group of friends quilted regularly at her house since she could keep a quilt frame up because she had no children.
Merikay Waldvogel and Barbara BrackmanReposFile
Image - large display (550 or more 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