Quilts and the Library of Congress.

On this day in 1800, the Library of Congress was established using $5,000 appropriated by President John Adams to purchase “such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress.”Today, the collection, housed in three enormous buildings in Washington, contains more than 17 million books, as well as millions of maps, manuscripts, photographs, films, audio and video recordings, prints, and drawings. The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, created by Congress in 1976, is the national center for folklife documentation and research.

Bertha Marion of Galax, Virginia made this Applique Rose quilt in August 1978. It was documented by the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress as part of the Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project. This ethnographic field project was conducted by the American Folklife Center in cooperation with the National Park Service and includes 229 photographs and 181 recorded interviews with six quiltmakers in Appalachian North Carolina and Virginia.

View this quilt on The Quilt Index to find out! Read more about its history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view or click the “See full record” link to see a larger image and all the data entered about that quilt.

Source:
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/library-of-congress-established


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Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance
amy.milne@quiltalliance.org

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May.

On this day in 1564, William Shakespeare was born according to the church record of his baptism. He lived to age 52 and is credited for authoring 38 of the most analyzed and performed plays in history.

This quilt, titled “Idiot Star,” was made by the late quiltmaker and writer Helen Kelley in 1989. Celebrated for her affinity for color and storytelling in her work, Kelley included this inscription on the back of the quilt: “Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May” Shakespeare/ made by one rosebud and five American beauties/The quilt belongs to me/ Helen Kelley 1989.” These names are inscribed on the front of the quilt, one per block: Marge Anderson, Connie Pluhar, Helen Kelley, Helen Lange, Mary L.Chmiel, Norma Ahlquist. The quilt was documented by the Minnesota Quilt Project in 2009.

View this quilt on The Quilt Index to find out! Read more about its history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view or click the “See full record” link to see a larger image and all the data entered about that quilt.

Source:
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/william-shakespeare-born


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Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance
amy.milne@quiltalliance.org

Collaborations for Creativity and Conservation in Wisconsin.

On this day in 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated to increase awareness of the world’s environmental problems. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin came up with the idea hoping to pull together grassroots environmental groups and increase ecological awareness.

Elsie Zietlow Schlicht machine pieced the blocks for this Spiderweb quilt in the 1930’s-1940’s in the LaCross area of Wisconsin. Her daughter, Arlene Schlicht Quandt, assembled the quilt in the 1970′s in Jefferson, Wisconsin. The quilt was repaired in 1980/1990′s. A friend of the quiltmakers now owns the quilt and documented it in 2005 as part of the Wisconsin Quilt History Project.

View this quilt on The Quilt Index to find out! Read more about its history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view or click the “See full record” link to see a larger image and all the data entered about that quilt.

Source:
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-first-earth-day


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Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance
amy.milne@quiltalliance.org

1777

“On this day in 1777, British troops under the command of General William Tryon attacked the town of Danbury, Connecticut, and begin destroying everything in sight. Facing little, if any, opposition from Patriot forces, the British went on a rampage, setting fire to homes, farmhouse, storehouses and more than 1,500 tents.”

This hand appliqued and hand quilted Tree of Life (Palampore) quilt was made by an unknown quilter in 1777 in New Jersey. From this Quilt Index record:

“The central motif was cut from a single printed textile and stitched to the background fabric. Additional branches were expertly added to give the design needed width. Free form leaves were appliqued in the corners above the tree. The extremely fine quilting includes crosshatching and tiny clamshells the size of the end of a finger. Free formed shaped leaves appliqued in corners above trees.”

The quilt is owned by the Drake House in Plainfield, New Jersey and was documented as part of the Heritage Quilt Project of New Jersey.

View this quilt on The Quilt Index to find out! Read more about its history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view or click the “See full record” link to see a larger image and all the data entered about that quilt.

Source:
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/british-attack-danbury-connecticut


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Amy Milne headshot

Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance
amy.milne@quiltalliance.org

Q.S.O.S. Spotlight

Today, in honor of springtime finally arriving and the Easter and Passover holidays, we’re shining our Q.S.O.S. Spotlight on a story about the healing and comforting power of quilts from Millie Wark of Massachusetts. In her Q.S.O.S. interview, Millie shared a story about a quilt she made and the warmth it brought:

“Well, the story begins at our Baptist church. For quite a few years, in March before Easter, we always had one weekend called, “Give God the Glory.” We would all try to make a new quilt every year, because we brought those all in. They were draped all over the church, all over the balcony, all over the church not only our quilting but the men with their woodworking and things that people did because we wanted to give God the glory and show what He had done through us. Well this was about the third year that we had participated in this. For some reason, I had decided, I had seen these puffs quilts. I made this huge puffy, puffy quilt and brought it in. As it happened, I put it over like a Queen Anne chair. Well in our midst, one of our families had a 16-year old daughter that we’d all loved dearly, but she had become very anorexic. She had been to many counselors. They had worked and worked with her. Well when she saw that quilt, she walked in the first time, she just landed on that quilt and cuddled up almost in a fetal position. She just, almost like she wanted to get right inside of that quilt. For the three days that we had it there, whenever they came, she didn’t come into the sanctuary. You would miss her and she was out cuddled up in that quilt. So when it came time to take them home, I said to her mother, ‘I want her to have that quilt.’ And it just amazed me because they said that at home it just seemed to give her such peace. That’s the way she looked. She cuddled up on that quilt in such a peace. I like to feel that the comfort that she had from that, eventually she started eating the way she should again and now she’s, I think she’s graduated from college already. She is a fine, healthy young woman. When I see her and think about it, I think, you know maybe it was the love that she got from that quilt helped her to heal. So I’m just so, when we gave God the glory for that weekend and when I think of that, I really do, I just thank God that I was able to make a little difference in her life.”

You can read more quilt stories on the Quilters’ S.O.S.- Save Our Stories page on the Quilt Alliance website.

EmmaParker

Posted by Emma Parker
Project Manager, Quilters’ S.O.S.- Save Our Stories
qsos@quiltalliance.org

Q.S.O.S. Spotlight

As much as I love hearing the quilt stories that are told during Q.S.O.S. interviews, sometimes my favorite part is the answer to the very first question, which is often a variation on “tell me about the quilt you brought today and why you chose it”. Choosing among quilts you’ve made can be like choosing among your children (well, maybe not quite that difficult) and it’s often fascinating to hear how a quiltmaker selected the touchstone quilt for their interview.

This week’s Q.S.O.S. Spotlight features Katharine Brainard, who’s made many deeply personal, cathartic and emotional quilts, such as her ‘Divorce Quilt’. Katharine brought another personal quilt–made with memories of traveling to New York with her sister–to her Q.S.O.S. interview. Read more about that quilt and why she selected it below:

“This is called “New York Quilt.” My sister lives in Maine and I live in Maryland near Washington, D.C. Every year we meet halfway in the middle, in New York, leaving husbands and children and whatevers at home, just the two of us sisters, for a sisters’ weekend. We’ve been doing that for many years. We meet in New York for a long weekend, and spend the time together exploring. We often go through little flea markets and through the garment district. One year I came back home afterwards and made this quilt, reflecting our sisters’ weekend together in New York that year. It’s got a black velvet background, sort of soft and night time, but it’s also got sort of frenetic energy. They say New York never sleeps, it just keeps on going. That year I bought these buttons from street vendors. I also bought these really ugly white plaster mermaids off a table at a flea market. I brought them home and painted them and put all kinds of buttons and beads and strings and ribbons in heir hair. And I bought the moon and star buttons in the garment district. These little people that are hanging here. [Katharine points to them on her quilt.] I also found those in New York, in a bead shop. Every year we go and have our palms read and fortunes told. Quite often the palm readers have beaded curtains that you go through and the beads swish to the side. That’s why I have all these little things hanging off the bottom of the quilt like a little beaded curtain. When you move the quilt, they make a swishing bead sound. And these little flowery beaded things were from Japan, bought those in the garment district, too. I just wanted to show the wonderful energy of New York City. The mermaids might look scary but they’re not gruesome, they’re just sort of energy. The whole quilt is supposed to represent energy. And this wave along the bottom is like an energy wave, almost like how the whole ocean is constantly moving and changing. There are lots of embroidery quilting stitches all the way across the quilt, changing from lights to darks. Sometimes I look at this quilt and it changes when I look at it at different times. That’s what I like about it. It’s never the same, it’s always changing. 

LR: And you chose this particular one why?

KB: Well, my daughter and I laid out a lot of quilts this morning and we chose this one because we like it. A lot of the quilts I’ve been known for are more emotional quilts. For example, I associate my “Divorce Quilt” with a part of my life that was a little painful but necessary. Many of the quilts came at the time of the “Divorce Quilt” and afterwards, people talk to me about them and ask wasn’t it a cathartic release, and some people were offended by some of them. Also, I did a “Suicide Quilt.” But I really don’t care to talk about those quilts that much because some people put negative judgments on things, because emotions can scare people. So that’s why I pulled out a non-emotional quilt today. I stopped making the emotional quilts because I couldn’t live with them on the walls of my home.

LR: The emotional reason–

KB: The emotional quilts were probably cathartic when I made them. I was taking the emotions out of me and putting them into the quilts. But then I really couldn’t live with them around me on the walls. It was too much. I was raising three small children, and I wanted to provide a calm, happy home for them. The quilts could go in a gallery, or in a museum, but living with them day-to-day was difficult. The New York Quilt I can live with day-to-day. It makes me happy to look at it. It’s very positive. It hung in our front hall for the past year. So that’s why I chose this quilt, plus I love the colors, blues and greens. Green has to do with growth. Blue with depth, the sky, the ocean, eternity. I’ve always loved the ocean. I grew up near the water. I have a special thing for mermaids and sea creatures, partly because they are mysterious and sort of hidden in the depths of the ocean, you can’t see what’s down there, but it’s swirling with life and energy. The ocean itself is alive. There’s a lot of life and things you don’t know about down there, and it’s constantly changing and moving, and I just, I like that. I picked this quilt because it’s easy to talk about and I love the colors and all the attachments. My favorite quilts have a lot of attachments, beads and buttons and embroidery threads. More doodads is better as far as I’m concerned. More is always good. I like it when more is more.”

You can read more quilt stories on the Quilters’ S.O.S.- Save Our Stories page on the Quilt Alliance website.

EmmaParker

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Emma Parker

Project Manager, Quilters’ S.O.S.- Save Our Stories

qsos@quiltalliance.org

 

 

Trees & Houses.

On this day in 1968, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act, which prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental or financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin. Gender was added to that list of criteria in 1974 and people with disabilities in 1988.

Debra Lynn Miller machine pieced and Kris Neifield machine quilted this “Trees & Houses” quilt in 2002. The design is a reproduction of a Trees pattern from the 1930’s.  Miller created the quilt in a class taught by Beverly Dunivent in Big Bear, California, and documented it as part of the Arizona Quilt Documentation Project.

View this quilt on The Quilt Index to find out! Read more about its history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view or click the “See full record” link to see a larger image and all the data entered about that quilt.

Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1968


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance
amy.milne@quiltalliance.org