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

Essay Historical Background

description
This quilt made with a Martha Vineyard's pattern in the Mountain Mist line.
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. Georgia Litsey of Leitchfield, Kentucky won second place in the Memphis regional with a Stearns & Foster pattern. It was sent to Chicago where it competed in the final round and it was displayed during the summer of 1933 at the Sears Pavilion. Georgia Litsey is one of six Kentucky quiltmakers who reached the final round. Fritz Hooker, Sales Manager of Stearns & Foster, visited the exhibition and followed up with letters to contestants who used Mountain Mist patterns. Georgia Litsey's response and her photo was printed in an advertisement for Stearns & Foster in the 1935 Mountain Mist Blue Book of Quilts. In regards to her Martha's Vineyard quilt, she was quoted as saying: "As for Mountain Mist Quilt Patterns, I'll just say this: I have used eight of them so far, and have taken prizes with four of them. My 'Martha's Vineyard' was a Century of Progress prize-winner in 1933. I know that these fine patterns were a marvelous help to me in securing prize-winning results." Dr. William Rush Dunton Jr. visited the exhibit at the Sears Pavilion and took notes on the prize-winning quilts. About Georgia Litsey's quilt, he wrote: "Martha's Vineyard -- same as 3rd prize Seattle."

Administrative Fields

InstNameF003
Waldvogel Archival Collection
InstProjNameF003a
Sears Quilt Contest 1933 Chicago World's Fair
InstInvContrNumF004
033

Information source fields

SourceOtherF006a
Friends who remembered the quilter.
DateDataF006b
1982
IfOtherF007d
In response to a letter Brackman sent to a Leitchfield, KY newspaper, several people who knew Georgia Litsey responded.
interviewerF007e
Barbara Brackman

Overall Quilt Description

TypeObjF008
Finished quilt
QuiltTitleF009
Martha's Vineyard
BrackmanF011a
16.55 Encyclopedia of Applique
PredomColorsF014
Green
Purple
White
OverallColorF14b
Bright or primary colors
DateQuiltF023
1930-1949
DateFinishF023b
1933
DateInfoF023f
Copyright 1931 on the Martha's Vineyard Mountain Mist pattern.
LayFormatF024
Other

Quilt top materials and construction

FiberTypesF035
Cotton
FabPrintF037
Solid/plain
ConstrucF038b
Hand Applique

Quilting Description

QuiltTechF049
Hand quilting

Quilt notes and observations

FeaturesF053
The actual quilt was sold in the 1960s; therefore, colors, fabrics, and quilting designs are only suppositions based on the Mountain Mist pattern instructions.

Quiltmaker identification

QuiltTopF054
Litsey, Georgia
QuiltedByF055
Wilson, Mrs. Blaine

Quilt provenance

LocMadeF057a
Leitchfield
ProvStateF057d
Kentucky (KY)
ProvCountryF057f
United States
QuiltHistF059
According to Martha Moorman of Leitchfield, KY (Letter to B Brackman, Sept 13, 1982), "Mrs. Litsey died in January 1964 and a public sale was held later in theyear, so no on seems to know for sure just who did get the prize-winning quilt."

Quilt purposes uses

ReasonsF060
Challenge or Contest entry

Quilt design and materials sources

SourceMatF063
Purchased new
TopSourceF064
Commercial/Published source: Pattern
CommSourceF064b
Martha's Vineyard, Mountain Mist pattern line, Stearns & Foster Co.
PattSourceF065
Commercial pattern

Exhibitions and Contests

ExhibitListF067a
The quilt was probably exhibited in Memphis, TN where it won second place in that regional contest. It also was exhibited at the Sears Pavilion at the Chicago World's Fair during the summer of 1933.
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
Mountain Mist Blue Book of Famous Quilt Designs (Cincinnati: Stearns & Foster, 1935).

Quiltmaker personal information

MaidenF097b
Helmsitter
GenderF098
Female
BirthDateF099
06-22-1882
DeathF100
1964
RelAffF103
Methodist
EnviroF104c
Rural
CityF106a
Leitchfield
StateF107
Kentucky (KY)
CountryF108
United States
WhyQuiltF119
Income
OtherSourceMat
Merikay Waldvogel and Barbara Brackman. Patchwork Souvenirs of the 1933 World's Fair (Nashville, TN: Rutledge Hill Press, 1993), 101, 104, 106
SpouseF113
Armstrong, Rhea (died 1920s)
Litsey, George
OccupationF115
Farmer (Armstrong); Lawyer (Litsey)

Other quilts made by quiltmaker

NumQuiltsF123
20-50 quilts
SellQuiltF127
yes
FavesF130
According to the testimonial published by Mountain Mist, she said "I have been interested in quilts for years. Ever since Mountain Mist Quilting Cotton came out, I have insisted on it for the filling of my quilts. I knew when I first heard of it that it would bring an amazing improvement over other types of quilt filling. Mrs. blaine Wilson, of Travellers Rest, Kentucky who does the actual quilting of my tops for me, tells me that this filling is a great deal easier to use; and I know from experience that my Mountain Mist filled quilts wash perfectly, and have that evenly padded look that means so much to fine quilting." 1935 Blue Book of Mountain Mist Designs.
AddNotesF132
According to a letter from a close neighbor (Margaret Moorman) "I do know that she had the Mountain ladies of Kentucky to do actual quilting finish which cost about $20.0 to $30.00 a quilt back in late 1920s and 1930s." This same respondent reported in 1982 that Georgia Litsey did quilt tops for Cincinnati Mountain Mist Cotton establishment which supplied her with patterns and material to make quilts for herself too. (Sept 1, 1982 letter from Margaret Moorman to Barbara Brackman). Mountain Mist routinely employed professional quilters to make the Mountain Mist patterns into quilts. These quilts became part of the Mountain Mist Collection which was used for many years for publicity at quilt events, state fairs, department store windows, etc.

Image Information

SourceF077
Slide
AccessF080
Restricted
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

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