Cleopatra of the Quilts.

On this day in 30 B.C., Cleopatra, queen of Egypt, took her own life after her armies were defeated by Octavian (later called Augustus), the future first emperor of Rome. Distressed over her defeat, Cleopatra tried to seduce Octavian in an attempt to make peace with him, but he resisted her charms and she committed suicide rather than surrender.

Casandra Cleopatra Eliza Sanders made this Double T quilt in 1885 in Lewisburg, West Virginia. The quilt was documented during the West Virginia Heritage Quilt Search by Sanders’ great grandson who was given the quilt by his 101 year old grandmother. Sanders’ was a Civil War widow who raised seven children by herself. The quilt’s present owner states: “The entire family disembarked from the train (from their former home of Grundy, W.V.) and walked to Lewisburg carrying their luggage. “She [great grandmother] made this quilt when her children were small and times were hard trying to raise her children without her husband.”

View this quilt on The Quilt Index to read more about its history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view.

Source:
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/cleopatra-commits-suicide

Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

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

Advertisements

The Quilting Queens and Katrina.

On this day in 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall near New Orleans, Louisiana. This category 4 hurricane was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States, displacing one million residents, and ranking alongside the Great Depression in human impact.

The Quilting Queens of Minden (Louisiana) met during their post Hurricane Katrina and Rita volunteer work. They made this one patch quilt titled “God’s Blessings” from clothing items that were left at a relief center that could not be distributed The group met weekly and made quilts to auction off to raise money for hurricane survivors. This quilt is special because it was signed by Hurricane Katrina evacuees, as well as relief workers. It was documented as part of the Louisiana Quilt Documentation Project in 2006.

View this quilt on The Quilt Index to read more about its history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view.

Source:
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/hurricane-katrina-slams-into-gulf-coast

Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

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

Marked as a Quilter in Kindergarten.

On this day in 1833, Margarethe Meyer Schurz was born in Hamburg, Germany. Schurtz studied education with Freidrich Froebel, the creator of the “kindergarten” concept, then moved to the U.S. and founded the country’s first kindergarten. The program, in Watertown, Wisconsin, lead young children in games, songs and group activities channeling their energy and preparing them for primary school.

Maude Ada Franks Combs made this String Quilt in the 1930’s in Wellington, Texas.  The quilt is foundation machine pieced and hand quilted and was one of many that Combs made for her family, teaching her daughter (who now owns the quilt) the “necessary homemaking arts” in the process. Combs’ daughter wrote: “I do not recall at what age she taught me to mark, cut, and string tiny pieces for intricate blocks, but when I was enrolled in kindergarten, I had scissor marks on my right hand and my thimble finger was already bent and I was not even five years old.”

The quilt was documented during the Texas Quilt Search Project and is included in the book Lone Stars: A Legacy of Texas Quilts, Vol. II, 1936-1986, by Karoline Patterson Bresenhan and Nancy O’Bryant Puentes (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1990. It was included in an exhibition by the same name at the 1990 International Quilt Festival, Houston, Texas.

View this quilt on The Quilt Index to read more about its history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view.

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

Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

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

It’s a Man’s World Unless Women Vote!

On this day in 1920, the 19th Amendment of the United States Constitution is adapted guaranteeing American women the right to vote. The amendment reads: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex” and “Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

Gerry Krueger of Spokane, Washington, made this quilt titled “It’s a Man’s World Unless Women Vote!” in 2011 for the Quilt Alliance contest, “Alliances: People, Patterns, Passion.” Krueger wrote in her artist’s statement: “When seeing the photo of the men facing backward juxtaposed to the photo of the women facing forward, I knew I wanted the suffrage movement to be the theme of my AAQ entry.”

View this quilt on The Quilt Index to read more about its history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view.

Source:
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/19th-amendment-adopted


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

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

Q.S.O.S. Spotlight

Here at the Quilt Alliance, we’re counting down the days to next month’s Quilters Take Manhattan event. Our featured speaker this year is quilter, designer, and teacher Hollis Chatelain. I noticed that Hollis has not one but two fantastic Q.S.O.S. interviews on our site, so I thought I’d share a few excerpts from her interviews about her influences and thoughts on quilting. 

In Hollis’ first interview, from 1999, she described the roots of her passion for quilting and the important role her time in Africa plays in her art. 

I graduated from Drexel University in 1979 with a degree in design. Then I worked in Imagephotography and drawing for a number of years. I went to the Peace Corps in 1980 in Africa where I met my husband. We decided to stay. I was very interested in photography when I went over, so I took thousands of photographs. Then we moved to a country where it was very difficult to take photographs, so I did more drawing. From there I kind of combined the two; I started teaching drawing later on. I taught drawing to many different people from all nationalities, all ages. I’ve taught drawing from age seven to age eighty-five. And I was lucky enough to teach people who always wanted to draw, but had always kind of been afraid to. And I just love it. But then if you would have told me three years ago that I would be doing this, I would never have believed you. I never thought I would do imagery. But in moving back to the states, I missed Africa so much. I returned with teenagers. I’d been gone sixteen years, and my heart was in Africa. So the way to go back for me, was to draw and paint the people–I what I loved most about Africa. It was an honor to live among people that I admired every single day. I wanted to be back there. So I taught myself to paint. I had never painted before, or painted imagery. I had used paintbrushes in my work, but I’d never painted imagery. Somehow I think that something was given to me to be able to transfer that love for the people into creating them. I don’t know how, because I never could have done this before. I don’t know, I just kind of did it… 

Maybe it is because I choose to paint what is the most important thing to me. And that is the joy, the spirit, the pride of the people. Where I lived in Africa, about ninety percent of the people are just farmers. It’s not all turmoil and suffering. That exists, of course that exists. But it exists in America, too. It exists everywhere. But that’s what we hear about, we only hear about the bad parts. And I would like Africans, in my work, to be more than silhouettes. They’re not just the background silhouettes; they’re real people. I would like people to say, ‘I remember the beauty of the people from her work. I remember the spirit.’ Somehow I feel a gift was given to me to be able to bring that message across. It’s not about me; it’s about the artwork… A lot of people say, ‘well, why don’t you just paint?’ I say, ‘Well, that’s not three dimensional’. What I like most about this is the fact that there’s some texture to it, and it’s three-dimensional. Some people may say that my work is just painted, but if you look at it quilted and unquilted, it’s two totally different things. The quilting is really at least half of it.

In her second interview, from 2001, Hollis shared a little bit about the personal experience of quiltmaking:

ImageI do art for my own selfish reasons, to learn more, to be challenged; I’m obviously a challenge type of person because of the lifestyle that I have lead. I like to be put into new things. I like to try new things. I don’t like to do the same thing again and again and again. That’s why I don’t do two of the same quilt. Once I’ve done it, I lived it and I move on. That’s how I approach my artwork. I enjoy learning, so I set up my own challenges through my artwork. I will do a blue piece because blue is appropriate for this piece, but I wouldn’t do another monochromatic piece in blue just because I like the color blue. There has to be a reason for it. These are called the “Blue Men”, that is their nickname, that’s what they’re called throughout West Africa. So, “Resident Alien” was made in green because aliens are green, because resident aliens are given a green card. I really enjoy the challenge of it. But I also do the realistic ones, purely realistic, and I am continuing to do them, because it allows me to live with those people for that much longer. Since they are sold and they do go out to their new homes, like children leaving your house, I can’t live with them very long and I miss them so I need to do more just to be back where I want to be, to be back with those people who brought me so much. I do them. I do the purely realistic ones, to be with them. But I do these to challenge myself.

You can read more about Hollis Chatelain and the techniques she uses in her interviews here and here. And you can always find more quilt stories at the Quilters’ S.O.S.- Save Our Stories page on the Alliance’s site!

EmmaParker

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

Velvet Underground.

On this day in 1970, native New Yorker Lou Reed, front man of the pioneering rock band the Velvet Underground, gave his final performance with the band. Velvet Underground’s four studio albums have been widely influential for the past four decades, inspiring artists who weren’t even born at the time of the records’ release.

This machine pieced silk velvet and satin Scrap Fans Crazy quilt was made by an unknown Connecticut quiltmaker. It was documented at the Massacoh Plantation in 1995 during the Connecticut Quilt Search Project. There are more than 2,400 quilt records in The Quilt Index that list velvet as the fabric type.

View this quilt on The Quilt Index to read more about its history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view.

Source:
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/lou-reed-plays-his-last-show-with-the-velvet-underground


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

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

Mary, Mary, Quite Library.

On this day in 1861, American librarian and missionary Mary Elizabeth Wood was born in Elba, New York. Wood was best known for founding the first library school in China where she taught Western librarianship practices and programs.

This hand pieced, appliqued and quilted Tea Leaves Quilt was made between 1976-1999 in Guizhou, China. Marsha MacDowell, Curator of Folk Arts at Michigan State University Museum, purchased the quilt for the MSUM collection on a research trip to China in November 2012.

View this quilt on The Quilt Index to read more about its history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view.

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


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

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