Marie Webster revolutionized quilt making at the beginning of the 20th century. Previously quilt designs were passed down through families by women. These predominantly geometrical designs were pieced together and often had regional similarities. Webster’s designs were based on the Arts and Crafts movement and made quilting a true art form. Although she was quite adept at hand sewing, Marie Webster did not design her first quilt until she was 50 years old (1909).
Webster’s designs had appliqué pieces in curvilinear forms that had never been seen before. She sent them to Ladies Home Journal, and the editors decided to print four of her designs. They were such a success that she was selling quilt patterns within a month after the spread in the magazine. She ended up having 14 different quilt patterns printed in Ladies Home Journal in less than two years. The quilt designs continued to grow in popularity, and she eventually formed Practical Patchwork Company to sell the patterns, quilt kits, and finished quilts. The company operated out of her house with the help of friends and family until 1942.
Her widespread popularity also resulted in a request from publishing company Doubleday, Page and Company. They approached Marie about writing a book on the history or quilting and pattern names. The 1915 book was titled "Quilts: Their Story and How to Make Them." It was the first book to discuss the history of quilting and to demonstrate how to make a quilt. The book was reprinted six times between 1916 and 1948. In 1990, Marie’s granddaughter Rosalind Perry published a new edition of the book.
The house is a National Historic Landmark and is now home to the Quilters Hall of Fame Museum. The house is currently undergoing restoration.