While this stunner dates to the thirties we haven’t been able to confirm it was entered in the Sears Competition. We just put it here ‘cos it is so gorgeous!
And the winner……. Star of Bluegrass – created by Margaret Caden
Now after all the Art deco glory seen above it seems very strange a more traditional quilt wins a competition celebrating a century of progress. It seems it was the sheer quality of the work that won over the judges. The win however was not without scandal…..
Margaret Rogers Caden, the woman lauded by the Sears panel of judges as America’s “Greatest Quiltmaker,” didn’t sew a stitch of her grand-prize winner. Yes, Caden, who helped run her family’s fine sewing business in Lexington, Ky., signed the official Sears form certifying that “this quilt is entirely of my own making.” But as one Lexington quilter observed: “Margaret Caden did not know which end of a needle to thread.”
Instead, Caden had the work on her Unknown Star quilt farmed out to at least three other women, who frantically pieced and sewed against the clock. The extraordinary quality of the entry’s trapunto or stuffed quilting, executed at 16 perfect stitches to the inch, was the element that bowled over the judges. And it was done, not by Caden, but by Mattie Clark Black, a dirt-poor rural seamstress who earned a few dollars for her stunning work. LA Times You can read more about it here.