Star of France


Quilt Index Record: 5B-9D-4A

Essay Historical Background

description
Atlanta Regional First Prize Winner
essay
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. This quilt by Susie Combs of Beattyville, KY won first place in the Atlanta region with a Star of France pattern designed by Hubert Ver Mehren of Des Moines, Iowa. A year before the contest was announced Ver Mehren put out a booklet named Colonial Quilts which contained a number of large center medallion pieced quilt patterns. They were also available as kits. Judges were dazzled by the color shadings and the intricate designs. The first placed winning quilt in the Philadelphia was also a Hubert Ver Mehren design.

Administrative Fields

InstNameF003
Waldvogel Archival Collection
InstProjNameF003a
Sears Quilt Contest 1933 Chicago World's Fair
InstInvContrNumF004
012

Information source fields

IdentPersonF006
Niece of quiltmaker
DateDataF006b
February 1992
RelnQuiltF007
Other
interviewerF007e
Barbara Brackman

Overall Quilt Description

TypeObjF008
Finished quilt
QuiltTitleF009
Star of France
OverallLengthF012b
PredomColorsF014
Cream
Gold
Yellow
OverallColorF14b
Bright or primary colors
DateQuiltF023
1930-1949
DateFinishF023b
1933
DateInfoF023f
Pattern first appeared in 1932.
LayFormatF024
Medallion or framed center

Quilt top materials and construction

FiberTypesF035
Cotton
FabPrintF037
Solid/plain
ConstrucF038
Hand Piecing

Quilting Description

QuiltTechF049
Hand quilting
DesignF052a
Grid diamond
Outline
DesignF052b
Wreaths
DesignF052c
Grid/crosshatch

Quiltmaker identification

QuiltTopF054
Combs, Susie
QuiltedByF055
Combs, Susie

Quilt provenance

LocMadeF057a
Pebworth
ProvStateF057d
Kentucky (KY)
ProvCountryF057f
United States
QuiltHistF059
According to the quiltmaker's niece, the quilt went for $250 two or three years after the Fair. Since it was made from the same fabrics and with the same shades of yellow and gold, this Star of France quilt by Susie Combs would be hard to distinguish from other Star of France quilts made in the 1930s.

Quilt purposes uses

ReasonsF060
Challenge or Contest entry
PresUseF062
Unknown

Quilt design and materials sources

SourceMatF063
Purchased new
TopSourceF064
Commercial/Published source: Pattern
Commercial/Published source: Kit
CommSourceF064b
Home Art Co. pattern by Hubert Ver Mehren
PattSourceF065
Kit
AddNotesF066
Susie Combs probably used the kit and maybe the perforated quilting design. It is impossible to tell from the b/w photos of the quilt on display in 1934. Here is the description of the quilt in Colonial Quilts booklet: Beautiful Star of France Quilt This beautiful quilt originated as a reproduction of the Military Decoration of France, from which it takes its name. It is a full size quilt measuring 84" x 84", when completed. It is worked up in four shades of yellow or may be worked up in four shades of orchid, blue or pink. Order: No. 151. All materials for top of quilt stamped, ready to cut and join together. Best quality sateen in four shades of yellow, blue, pink or orchid. $5.95. State color wanted. Complete Cutting Guide, perforated quilting design, stamping power and color chart. Order: No. 151A $1.00. The quilt was also illustrated in newspapers nationwide when the booklet was advertised in late 1932 and early 1933. Here is the description which varies only slightly from the text in the Colonial Quilts booklet: Star of France Quilt Pattern This gorgeous quilt received its inception from the military decoration that Napoleon pinned on the breast of the heroes of France. This is a full-sized quilt measuring when completed, 84 by 84 inches and is usually made up in four shades of yellow sateen with a cream colored backgorund. This pattern can also be made up in four shades of orchid, blue or pink. A true cutting guide gives you full directions as to the color scheme and the number of pieces to cut for each color. Seams are allowed on all patterns. Quilting design No. 151Q known as the Royal French Peasant design, is recommended for use with the Star of France quilt. The pattern stamped for tracing, 10 cents each, or a perforated pattern, 50 cents. The border quilting design, No. 151QB, tracing pattern, 10 cents, perforated pattern, 20 cents. A 32-page book, showing in colors a variety of designs for quilts, patch work, embroidery, etc., is available to readers. The two patterns, or any other published in [newspaper name] will be sent free with the booklet, which is 25 cents. Single patterns are 10 cents each, three for 25 cents. Inclose clipping of design wanted when ordering. Send letter and coin to [newspaper name] Needle Art Department, 609 South Paulina Street, Chicago, Ill.

Exhibitions and Contests

ExhibitListF067a
Atlanta Regional Round, Sears National Quilt Contest in mid May 1933. Exhibited at the Sears Pavilion at the Chicago World's Fair in Summer 1933. Exhibited at the Sears Pavilion at the Chicago World's Fair in Summer 1934.
ContestListF071a
Sears Quilt Contest, 1933 Chicago World's Fair.

Quilt ownership and contact info

OwnerCountryF086b
United States

Other source materials available for this quilt

RelItemsF088a
A b/w photo of the quilt on display at the Sears Pavilion in Summer 1934 is on pg. 97. See Colonial Quilts booklet, p See 1982 Quilt Engagement Calendar, Plate 36 for a color photo of a quilt in the same pattern although it is mis-identified as "Desert Star."

Quiltmaker personal information

MaidenF097b
Jackson
GenderF098
Female
BirthDateF099
1904
EnviroF104c
Rural
CityF106a
Pebworth
StateF107
Kentucky (KY)
CountryF108
United States
OtherSourceMat
Merikay Waldvogel and Barbara Brackman. Patchwork Souvenirs of the 1933 World's Fair (Nashville, TN: Rutledge Hill Press, 1993), 42., 57, 58, 97, 108, 110.
SpouseF113
Combs, Dale

Other quilts made by quiltmaker

NumQuiltsF123
20-50 quilts
SellQuiltF127
yes

Image Information

ImageConF075a
Whole quilt
ImageTypeF076
Color
AccessF080
Restricted
ReposFile
Star_of_France_Quilt.jpg
5B-9D-4A-461-Star_of_France_Quilt.jpg
18161
image/jpeg
verify
yes

File Information

function
Image - large display (550 or more pixels)
file_medium
image
file_format
jpeg
Contributing Institutions
MATRIX: Center for Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences Online at Michigan State University, Michigan State University Museum, Alliance For American Quilts
Publisher
Quilt Index
Resource Type
StillImage

Detail Images

No additional images uploaded

Additional Records

No additional records