Thanks so much to Susan and Mark for sharing two sides of the same quilt’s story!
Were you at our 2015 Quilters Take Manhattan event? Even if you missed it, here’s a GREAT post from Alliance board member Laurie Russman. There are more than 10 reasons to add QTM 2016 to your calendar now, but these are some of our favorites!
My Top 10 List of reasons to attend QTM:
10- You get to visit NYC during its best weather season…there’s a reason songs like “Autumn in New York were written!
8- QTM’s headquarters for the event are in the midst of innumerable galleries…you can totally get your art fix.
7- You never know who you’ll run into while in town…
6- You can buy signed copies of best-selling quilting books and meet amazing authors like Jamie Fingal, Leslie Tucker Jenison, Victoria Findlay Wolfe and so many more…
5- You can hang out in the best local quilt shop you’ll ever encounter- The City Quilter. Cathy and Dale and the team curate the quilting world for the very best in notions, have an…
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Today we are reprising a July 7, 2014 post:
On this day in 1877, the first lawn tennis tournament was held at Wimbledon, then a suburb of London. The event, hosted by the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club, attracted twenty-one amateur male competitors. In 1884, the Lady’s Singles was introduced at Wimbledon.
An unknown quilter hand and machine pieced and hand quilted this Robbing Peter to Pay Paul quilt around 1885 in Pennsylvania. From this record:
“The back is made of two different fabrics. The center one has a brown ground with light brown, pink, rose, and red figures, roller printed. It depicts male and female tennis players playing mixed doubles, a women reclining in a hammock with a dog, 2 children playing, parrot tulip, birds, roses, ferns, trees, morning glories, etc.”
The quilt is now in the collection of the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, and it was documented in The Quilt Index as part of the Michigan Quilt 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.
Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance
If you are still pondering a quilt getaway weekend for this July–look no more!
The Quilt Alliance’s biennial educational and inspiration conference, Not Fade Away: Sharing Stories in the Digital Age will be held on Friday, July 17 and Saturday, July 18, 2015 at the Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, Virginia.
Come to this fun and inspirational conference to:
• Hear 2015 Keynote Speaker: Marin Hanson–“One Hundred Good Wishes Quilts: Commemorating and Documenting Adoptions from China”
• Learn how to self-publish a book about your own quilts
• Listen to curators and historians discuss how family trees can provide clues to quilt history
• Make creative quilt labels with quilt artists Leslie Tucker Jenison & Michele Muska
• Meet the people doing cutting-edge oral history projects on today’s quilters
• Hear about the history and future of the Quilt Barn Trails project
• Learn how to use the unique and deep resources of the Quilt Alliance to inspire your own work
• See the 2015 Sacred Threads Exhibition – one-day admission is included in conference registration
• Join Quilt Alliance board members, conference presenters and other attendees for an optional Fundraising Dinner on Saturday night to honor outgoing Alliance president Meg Cox.
Full details on Not Fade Away can be found on the Quilt Alliance website here.
Tickets are available for the full conference, Friday only, Saturday only (full day or morning only) and even a Home Ticket option that gives you access to most conference sessions via videos distributed after the event. Quilt Alliance members receive a discount on tickets.
Not Fade Away attendees can also take advantage of this great Sacred Threads sponsored bus trips: Museum Bus Tour on Friday, July 17 (9:00 am – 5:00 pm).
Click here to register for these tours separately on the Sacred Threads ticket site.
Ticket Giveaway Details:
Three winners will be chosen at random to receive a pair of tickets* to attend Not Fade Away. Tickets do not include the Saturday night Fundraising Dinner.
Deadline to enter: Sunday, July 5 at 12:00 Midnight EDT. Names will be drawn on Monday, July 6, and the winners will be announced on the Quilt Alliance Facebook page by 5:00 pm EDT on that day.
On Monday, we announced the winners of “Animals We Love,” the Quilt Alliance’s 9th annual quilt contest. We were thrilled to receive so many stunning, well-crafted, and story-rich entries this year. When Alliance board members e-gathered last spring to conceptualize the 2015 theme, we agreed that we wanted to offer a topic that would have broad appeal. We wanted a subject that quilters bond over when they’re not bonding over quilting. I shared with the group that some of our most popular posts on the Quilt Alliance Facebook page have featured my cat, Frazier Duane. Lightbulb: Animals We Love!
We kept the theme open-ended as we have with all of our contests. The only requirements were size (16″ x 16″) and “quiltiness” (had to be made of 3 layers stitched together). Animal-adoring quilters from 23 U.S. states and 6 countries mailed us their gorgeous artworks. International entries came from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Sweden and the United Kingdom, and several entries are the result of a collaboration of two or more quilters.
The Grand Prize for the contest is the highly sought-after HQ Sweet Sixteen sit-down longarm machine package (machine, table and bobbin winder) by Handi Quilter, Inc. Professional judges Marianne Fons, Mark Lipinski and Paula Nadelstern chose the Handi Quilter Grand Prize Winning quilt, “Giraffe Nocturne,” by Nancy S. Brown of Oakland, California. Nancy said about her win:
I first learned about the “Animals We Love” contest through “The Quilt Show” newsletter. I have always loved animals and I thought making a quilt would be a nice way to support an organization that does such great work for the quilting world in preserving the stories of quilts and quilters. I was just hoping that the quilt would raise some money for The Quilt Alliance at auction.
So imagine my absolute surprise and delight when I received the call from Amy Milne informing me that I won the grand prize. Wow!!! What an honor—especially given all of the wonderful and varied quilts in the contest. I had a hard time choosing my own favorite for the member’s vote.
I have always been a hand quilter but have often admired the beautiful machine quilting that is being done now. So with the prize of the Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen I am looking forward to trying my hand at something new. I have heard many great things about this particular machine. I can’t wait to start this new adventure!
Thanks to Handi Quilter for being such a generous sponsor in this contest. Thanks also to all of the quilters who donated their time and talent in a show of love for animals and support for the Quilt Alliance. And a very special thanks to The Quilt Alliance for all of the hard work that you do in promoting quilting and in saving our heritage by preserving our stories.
–Nancy S. Brown
Watch and listen to a Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories interview with Handi Quilter Grand Prize winner Nancy S. Brown conducted on June 10, 2015 by Quilt Alliance staffer Emma Parker here.
Here’s the full report from our judges:
Many thanks to all who participated in the “Animals We Love” competition—you charmed, delighted, and intrigued us with your many and varied reflections on the animal kingdom. The three of us were pleased to have the opportunity once again to get on the phone together to “ooh” and “aah” as we clicked back and forth on the various entry images, enjoying them so much, and gradually narrowing down our choices.
This year’s Grand Prize goes to “Giraffe Nocturne.” All three of us had this particular entry squarely among our top saves. We love the maker’s fabric choices and skilled use of needle-turn applique. This is a work where everything—the pieced background with its distant moon, the composition of the giraffe in the foreground, and the many details such as the animal’s expressive eye—works together perfectly. Congratulations to the artist!
We were glad to have the opportunity again this year to each select a personal Judge’s Choice. Here are our picks:
Mark Lipinski’s Judge’s Choice pick: “Bzzzzz”
Because the quiltmaker took a creative risk and interpreted the competition’s theme in a totally different way and style than the other entrants, Bzzzzz immediately caught my attention and interest. The pieced work, with its clean and graphic design shapes, was appealing to me. Blending a combination of the modern aesthetic (more than average negative space, solid and contrasting color combos, a sense of minimalism) with traditional piecework (matching points, traditional quilting, a variation on a traditional Lone Star quilt pattern) was both interesting and appealing. The use of the grey and black pieced strips in the bees’ wings adds movement and depth, while the soft hued binding only complements the totality of the piece rather than abruptly stopping the eye with a more predictable choice of bright yellow, black, or grey. Frankly, there was nothing that I didn’t enjoy about this entry.
Paula Nadelstern’s Judge’s Choice pick: “Olive, Olive You <3”
Let me set the record straight: I do not love guinea pigs. But I love this whimsical, thoughtful little quilt. I love the furry figure with her moony, mish-mashed eyes. I love the sweet green patchwork ground; I think it would be time well spent to examine the work up close to see if any swatch was used twice. I’m impressed with the carefree, impulsive effect which masks deliberate technical choices. I vicariously share the maker’s fun of slipping something macabre (i.e. the skeleton) into the sweetness, and I’m impressed with the use of pink that doesn’t mar the realism. I exalt in its fabric-ness. Like me, this maker clearly thinks, “When it comes to fabric, more is MORE!”
Marianne Fons’ Judge’s Choice Pick: “Grandpa T and His Salad”
A high contrast, hot-pink-and-black plaid fabric as the background for pictorial applique would generally be a disaster, but in this artist’s hands it worked perfectly. That crazy, bold fabric adds whimsy and humor to the drama taking place on this quilt, i.e., the turtle’s laborious journey toward lettuce, broccoli, and tomatoes. I love the way Grandpa T’s little hind foot breaks the edge of the quilt on the left side. The fabrics the maker chose for his shell are perfect, and the quilting on the shell panels add great realism. The shading under Grandpa T’s shell and the luncheon plate, the big-stitch quilting in the background, and the loose-edge applique used for the vegetables all work together beautifully. The big risk this artist took really paid off for me!
As judges, we’d also like to send shout-outs to five other entrants. We spent a lot of time viewing their quilts, enjoying them, making the difficult decisions of just which quilt would be the Grand Prize winner and which three would be our personal choices. We want these makers to know their terrific quilts were in the running!
Judges’ Shout-outs to:
Finally, big thanks to Amy Milne for getting us all organized and together in one (virtual) spot, as well as to Lisa Ellis who designed the fantastic software (ArtCall) we used for the judging process. It was great!
Mark Lipinski, Paula Nadelstern, and Marianne Fons
Members’ Choice Awards
Quilt Alliance members also weighed in on the contest entries, and their votes determined the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Honorable Mention winners. It was a tough choice and even required a run-off election to determine 2nd and 3rd place!
Here are the Members’ Choice winning quilts and their makers:
First Place: “Bzzzzzz”
I am truly honored to have so many Quilt Alliance Members and Mark Lipinski select my mini quilt, Bzzzzzz, as their favorite. As a member and a quilt donor, I am proud to support the Quilt Alliance and the important work they do.
Second Place: “Eye See My Beloved”
Syrie and I are so privileged and thrilled that our quilt “Eye See My Beloved” came in second place in the Quilt Alliance “The Animals We Love” Quilt Contest. We love what we do and are happy that we are able to help such a worthy cause. The Quilt Alliance works hard to have the story of all our quilts remembered and we at Fine Art Quilting make our quilts with a story to tell.”
Your generous award will definitely go a long way. We can’t wait to see all the wonderful Moda Fabrics, Aurafill thread and Simplicity/EZ Quilting Accessories, with a big expression of our thanks to your sponsors.
We hope your fund raiser brings in the needed funds for you to continue all your hard work in preserving and educating others about quilts and their stories.
Third Place: “Innocence”
I am so thrilled about winning the 3rd place award and an Honorable Mention for my quilt, Innocence, which features our little mischievous kitten! And, I am grateful for an opportunity to give back to the Quilt Alliance. I appreciate the work that they do to preserve our stories and our history as quiltmakers. It is an honor!
Members’ Choice Honorable Mention Awards
We’d like to thank all of the artists who donated quilts for this year’s contest! After a national exhibition tour that began on June 8 at the Utah headquarters of Handi Quilter, Inc, and includes stops at American Quilter’s Society and Original Sewing & Quilt Expo shows, the quilts will be sold via an online auction in November, 2015. The auction is one of the Alliance’s most important annual fundraisers and provides crucial funds that support the operation of projects like Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories and Go Tell It at the Quilt Show!
We’re back this Sunday with a short excerpt from a fantastic Q.S.O.S. interview from our archives with quiltmaker Adrienne Yorinks. Adrienne was interviewed in New York City in 2002 and her interview covers everything from to animal rights, abstract expressionism, kids and quilts, and gender. In these excerpts, Adrienne shares a bit about her then-latest work, and how men and women alike have reacted to her quilts:
This is called “Tartan Number 3: A Midsummer’s Daydream.” And I’m doing a series of tartans. I’ve found it a fascinating format to use because it allows me to focus on different ways I work and has a built in way of “grounding” the piece. What I mean by this is if you look at the definition of Tartan in the dictionary, basically it is a woolen cloth with a woven pattern of straight lines of different colors and widths crossing at right angles. So it makes a perfect structure to do the kind of piece I want to work on at that time. I’ve been called an abstract expressionist by a few people viewing my work, and I am most moved myself by the abstract expressionist. My favorite artists are Mark Rothko and Robert Rauschenberg; Rothko for his incredible ability to capture mood in color and Rauschenberg for his sense of collage. I have always loved collage. My inspirations when I work are color, fabric, and subject matter. This piece really is about color. And I love summer. So, I just had to do a piece that was exciting, in reds and oranges. It’s to me a very happy piece. I will use cotton, a lot of vintage fabric, and anything else that strikes me. There’s a lot of silks and mixed blends that I’ve used together in this piece…
My work has always been liked by men and women and I have been thrilled. It’s taken seriously. It’s not just looked over. So, I reach both genders which I’m excited about. I’ve reached all age groups and economic groups and I’m really excited about that. I think it’s unfortunate that there is a gender issue still in this country. But, I think there are so many issues in this country. I think women’s work–which sewing always was–even though there are some incredible art quilts even from the 1800’s. It is just not considered true art. I’m not answering this really great. I just want to be seen as an artist and then you can go into that I’m a woman and that I’m Jewish, that I’m brought up in New York. That’s okay, but I would like to be considered an artist first. To go back–the wonderful experience at Citigroup Center was I was seen by everyone that works at Citigroup Center and I had incredible comments, like they didn’t want the Pineapple quilt which was in this exhibit to leave the building. They really wanted color, they loved it. And also I had from my illustration work for Stand for Children, I had the elevator man come up and kiss my hand and say, ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you for your work. You have made us so happy the last couple weeks.’ And I was touched by that more than most of the other comments that I touched somebody as an artist, and it didn’t matter. He might not have kissed my hand if I was a guy, but he really loved my work and I think that is important.
You can read more quilt stories on the Quilters’ S.O.S.- Save Our Stories page on the Quilt Alliance site.
Today is Memorial Day in the United States, a day to honor the men and women who lost their lives while serving in the armed forces. Throughout their history, quilts have been used to remember, comfort, and honor servicemen and women and their loved ones. From quiltmaking projects that gift quilts to grieving families, to quilts that capture the history of military sacrifices, today we’re sharing a few stories of quilts as memorials to those who served.
Dianne Higley shared her experience making quilts to comfort families who lost loved ones in Iraq:
I did a quilt for the Home of the Brave project too that the DAR did or is doing… I think it was maybe last year or the year before they did that project, the Home of the Brave. They asked each of the chapters to donate quilt squares or quilts and they would go to the families of the young men and women killed in Iraq, as a memory quilt. They used what is called an Album pattern where they had a little white square in the middle where the people could sign their names and the ladies in our chapter put their names in those little squares before we sent it in. Back during the Civil War where this pattern came from, they would have the family members sign their names and then they would send the quilt off to war with their soldier and a lot of these soldiers carried those quilts all the way through the war, but not many of them survived. When a soldier was killed, he would be buried in his quilt. Quilts have come a long way. Back then they were made out of scrap fabric what was left out of clothing that could no longer be worn, but now we go to the store and we buy fabrics and make them.
Carole Lyles Shaw created a quilt to honor African-American servicemen and women. This quilt is part of a series of quilts and other mixed media art work that I am creating to honor the memories of ordinary men and women who served in the American Armed Forces, particularly in the early part of the 20th Century and most of the work features images and documents and so forth from 1960 or earlier… I happen to have been born in 1948 so in my lifetime literally we moved from a legally segregated army to a desegregated army although for many years there was still lots and lots of discrimination and limitations of roles that African American men and women could play. I downloaded the first page of Truman’s executive order and I superimposed over that these words, ‘They fought and died for American freedom before they had their own’ and those words, those are my words and to me it just captures once again the honorable service that African Americans have given since the Revolutionary War obviously, even though at the time of the Revolutionary War we were still enslaved legally. Following the Civil War we were legally free but not full citizens. That took many, many more years to happen, and now we have an African American supported by Americans of all colors and walks of life…
Making quilts can also help heal the grieving. Sandra Branjord shared a quilt that she made 10 years after the death of her son, who had served in the US military.