Quilt of the Month


March 2005

March 2005

State Flowers (Ruby McKim pattern)
Made by Mrs. Walter Sharpe
Made in Noblesville, IN
Dated 1932
83.5" x 78.5"
IQSC 2004.021.0001
American Quilts in the Modern Age, 1870-1940 Exhibition

Mrs. Walter Sharpe of Noblesville, Indiana, won third prize in the 1931 Indianapolis Star quilt contest with her adaptation of a Ruby McKim state flowers pattern. Instead of using outline embroidery for the pattern, as suggested in the contest rules, Mrs. Sharpe used a combination of delicate applique and embroidered details.

The 1931 contest was the third in a series of contests sponsored by the Indianapolis Star. Each of the contests was based on a pattern series designed by Ruby Short McKim. Patterns were issued on Sunday and on one of the following days of the week, requiring readers to subscribe to the newspaper for the full week. At the end of the series, quiltmakers were invited to submit their finished quilts in hopes of winning one of the cash prizes. Mrs. Sharpe won $50.00 for her third prize quilt. In 1976, the Indianapolis Star revived the Flower Garden contest from the series, including a special division for quilts that were started during the original 1929 contest.