Sunday, April 13, 2014

Century of Progress quilt

Century of Progress
October 22, 1933-The Century of Progress quilt was an original pattern designed by Nancy Cabot and her "department to commemorate Chicago's great pageant in quilt history." She is referring to her department at the Chicago Tribune and the Sears Quilt Contest of 1933 which was held at the World's Fair in Chicago. The Century of Progress International Exposition was the name of the fair. The theme of the fair was technological innovation!

This Century of Progress quilt represented "Arcturus with a surrounding modernistic motif typical of the 1933 World's Fair," wrote Nancy.

There is a lot of symbolism in the design of the Century of Progress quilt. Arcturus is known as the Orange Star. It's significance here is that the light of Arcturus was focused on a photocell to create an electric current to turn on the lights at the fair's opening.

Nancy suggested the block would be "effective in two shades of yellow, with the light rays in either pastel shades or the strong, vivid colors used at the Fair."

I have found just one Century of Progress quilt. It appears to me that it is an applique pattern. This quilt does vary from Nancy Cabot's pattern however. The moon in the corners of the border has been added and the alternate blocks of five stars are not shown in Nancy's pattern either. You can read more info. about the quilt by clicking on the links below. The scalloped border on the quilt seen in the links was shown in the Tribune's newspaper drawing but I didn't try to draw it for this post.

http://www.quiltindex.org/fulldisplay.php?kid=48-7C-13

http://www.quiltindex.org/fulldisplay.php?kid=48-7C-14

http://www.quiltindex.org/fulldisplay.php?kid=48-7C-73

http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=48-7C-13

The Century of Progress quilt can be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase program as #3713 which is what I used for my drawing above.

Tomorrow-Evening Star

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