Visit us at Festival or online: membership incentives and a new game!

If you’re headed to Houston for the International Quilt Festival this week, come see us in the Quilt Alliance booth (in the nonprofit area at the far end of the Exhibit Hall).

See our 2013 auction quilts:
36 of the TWENTY contest quilts including the Grand Prize and 1st, 2nd and 3rd place-winning quilts. You can view all of the TWENTY quilts on our website and bid on them on eBay.com beginning November 11.

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Quilters Play Manhattan, pictured at left, the quilt created by guests at our 2012 Quilters Take Manhattan After Dark Party and Victoria Findlay Wolfe, will also be in our booth. This quilt will be auctioned on eBay during week 4 (Dec. 2-9) of our annual quilt auction.

Join or renew your membership:
While supplies last at Festival only, Quilters Take Manhattan Goody Totes free with all $50 memberships (or $15 separately).

All Quilt Alliance members, including those who sign up or renew at Festival will be eligible for our exciting End-of-Year membership drawings for prizes donated by Quilt Alliance business members like Aurifil, Fairfield, Quilting Treasures, stkr.it and Olfa.
Join or renew your membership online anytime on our website.

QuiltStorySearch

We’re also launching a fun new way to get to know the Quilt Alliance and our partners. Quilt Story Search is a quarterly online quiz created to introduce you to projects like Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories and The Quilt Index. And top scorers will be entered to win a prize by a featured sponsor.

The Fall Quilt Story Search is sponsored by Aurifil4col

Click here to play the Fall Quilt Story Search through November 30!

We’ll draw from the highest scoring players to win these Aurifil collections.

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Q.S.O.S. Spotlight

Today’s Q.S.O.S. Spotlight features Denyse Schmidt, an iconic quiltmaker, teacher and entrepreneur whose quilts reinterpret traditional patterns with a modern sensibility. Quilt Alliance president Meg Cox interviewed Denyse at the Quilters Take Manhattan event in September of 2012. Denyse shared with the audience at the Fashion Institute of Technology a bit about how she became interested in quilting:

14-31-EA4-1-DenyseSchmidtA“[W]hen I was at Rhode Island School of Design, I started looking at historical quilts more and then after I graduated and had moved to Connecticut and I was… I didn’t have a network of friends there yet and I was working as a graphic designer and it was kind of a very mass-market mind-numbing job [laughter.] I became an expert in Barbie Pink and I was making a quilt for a friend and it was simple nine-patch. I got really interested in the whole, all the stories of quiltmakers and how–whether and how accurate it is or not–those stories of women coming together in a community and the whole barn-raising idea. I was longing for my own community and all my friends were kind of far away and I think I kind of latched onto that idea of quiltmaking, plus, at the time I got really interested in old-timey music, like, Appalachian string-band music and to me it kind of had the same resonance of people coming together, rolling it up, and you didn’t have to be great at it. And I think the quilts I kind of fell in love with, they weren’t about matching corners and being precise. There was a beautiful kind of happenstance and accidental quality in some cases to them. And so making–so I kind of fell in love with all of that and then I was making a quilt as a gift for a friend. I think having a tangible record of the amount of time I spent hand-quilting––you know, “here’s 3 hours” as opposed to my graphic design work, which is in many cases, very ephemeral: it’s printed matter, I’m spending hours kerning space between letters, no one ever notices. It’s on a piece of paper that gets crumpled up and thrown away, versus this very tangible record of time that I had spent and then that it was also a lasting object that was useful and beautiful. So it had this graphic quality and a tactile and textural quality plus, you know, the bits of fabric my mother––I’m youngest of four kids and both my parents had careers but they were very handy makers of things and my mother sewed all her clothes and I grew up in central Massachusetts and we used to go to all the mill stores and stuff, so to me the whole collecting fabric thing was very connected to my mom and being with her. And so to make a quilt that sort of combined all of these things, to me it seemed really magical.”

Denyse has been called “the godmother of modern quilting”. She described how she saw her role in the origins of the modern quilting movement:

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“It’s funny, these days it happens so fast that we’re kind of finding the origins of things,which is kind of odd. I think, while it’s flattering, I try not to take it too seriously because I think, I think I was in a place and a time and I was always presenting my work. It’s great–on one hand I think, I kind of got my message out there. It look a long time but people noticed and that’s really gratifying. And on the other hand, nothing is ever one person. It’s a kind of confluence of events and things that happen. When I started out, I used the word ‘modern’ because I was talking to an audience that didn’t have any other reference point and in some ways, was that the right word? I’m not really sure. I’ve never been very good at absolutes. I kind of recoil from them because to me, nothing is all one thing or another. However it gets defined, I’ll leave that to someone else, to do the defining.”

Denyse also shared a story about re-discovering the simple pleasure of hand-quilting a small doll quilt for her book Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration:

“I don’t have that much free time and it’s like anybody who does a particular thing–like how the carpenter has all the unfinished construction jobs at home. I think the last thing I want to do is get behind a sewing machine when I have free time. One of the last projects that I made start-to-finish was one of the quilts in my book [Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration.] and of course making a book is very labor-intensive… In this book–and all the quilts that are on display here are from the book–and it was my chance to pay homage to all those historical quilts that inspired me in the first place. But one of the quilts in a book is a little doll quilt and I hand-pieced it and hand-quilted it. I got to watch movies while I did it and I enjoyed every second of it. It was really nice. And I knit, occasionally. But lately I’m just trying to do less. I’m trying to do less. It’s really easy, in today’s world, everybody’s on devices and communicating all the time. I’m finding it exhausting these days. So I’m just trying to learn how to get back to something that feels simpler.”

You can read the rest of Denyse’s interview with Meg Cox here. Some of Denyse’s quilts are on display  at the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky through January of 2013.

You can also read more stories about quilts about quilts and their makers at the Quilters’ S.O.S.- Save Our Stories page on the Quilt Alliance’s site.

EmmaParker

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

Midwifery and Quilting.

On this day in 1771, career midwife Catherine Kaidyee Blaikley died in Williamsburg, Virginia. Blaikley was widowed early in her marriage and to maintain her inheritance she took up leasing rooms and midwifery. At the time of her death the Virginia Gazette praised Blaikley for delivering more than three thousand children.”

Edna Cable Stanton of Tennessee hand pieced and appliqued this Shooting Star quilt around 1885. The Quilt Index record states: “Edna Stanton was a midwife and farmer, widowed when her husband died in the Civil War. Anna Stout did the quilting in 1953. She died in 1984 at the age of 96.” A family member documented the quilt during the Quilts of Tennessee 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.encyclopediavirginia.org/Blaikley_Catherine_Kaidyee_ca_1695-ca_1771#start_entry


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

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

Lady of the Lake and the Barrel.

On this day in 1901, Annie Edson Taylor, a 63-year-old schoolteacher, became the first person to ride over Niagara Falls in a barrel. Taylor’s husband died in the Civil War, and afterwards she moved all over the U.S. before finally settling down in Bay City, Michigan in 1898. Taylor heard of the falls and the upcoming Pan-American Exposition to be held in Buffalo, N.Y. and planned the stunt seeking cash and fame.

Mary Ann Lawson of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, machine pieced and hand quilted this Lady of the Lake quilt in 1940. Lawson’s granddaughter received the quilt as a gift and documented it in 1989 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/first-barrel-ride-down-niagara-falls


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

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

Lap Swimming and Lap Quilting.

On this day in 1905, American competitive swimmer Gertrude (Trudy) Ederle was born in New York City, the daughter of German immigrants. Ederle became the first woman to swim across the English Channel in 1926.

Loretta K. Reardon of Lansing, Michigan, a swimmer and a quilter, hand quilted this Hour Glass pattern quilt, titled “Lap Swimming,” in 1993. Reardon writes, “I used to live at a Lake (Algonquin Lake in Hastings) and did a lot of swimming. Later I took up lap swimming. I missed swimming when ill, so these aquas and blues remind me of it.” Reardon documented her quilt 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.

Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gertrude_Ederle
Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

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

Go Tell it at the Quilt Show!

Check it out! We’ve posted 7 new Go Tell It at the Quilt Show! videos on our YouTube channel. The formula for these Go Tell It! videos is simple: one person talking about one quilt in front of one video camera for three minutes.

We’ve created Go Tell It! interviews with quilt makers, quilt owners and even museum curators. Some interviewees tell the story of their first quilt, the history of a special family quilt, or one with a funny story. Whatever the “teller’s” motivation, every quilt has a story and the Quilt Alliance is eager to document, preserve and share that story, for the education and inspiration of today’s quilt lovers and tomorrow’s historians and genealogists.

Here are a few of our newest Go Tell It! uploads. You can check out our Go Tell It at the Quilt Show! video playlist here for more great videos!

Go Tell It is currently being piloted with the help of quilt show organizers like QuiltCon and Original Sewing & Quilt Expo. In the future we will offer simple training on how anyone can create and share their own Go Tell It! videos, as well as the opportunity to Go and Tell It at future quilt shows and events. Questions? Email us at information@quiltalliance.org.

Q.S.O.S. Spotlight

We’re continuing our trip around the world with this week’s Q.S.O.S. Spotlight! Last week, we visited a quilter in Peru. This week, we’re in Germany–we’ll hear from Petra Voegtle from Munich, Germany.

In her interview, Petra shared a bit behind her inspiration for a quilt she entitled  ‘Vanity’:

Originally I made this piece for a competition. The competition’s theme was requesting a 14-31-675-1-qsos-a0a7d0-a_15370self-portrait. I have used a lot of different motifs and themes for my work but I never did a self-portrait. So this was a challenge that intrigued me very much. I did not want to do something usual. I mean most people think of their real face when they are asked for a self-portrait, be it photographers or painters. I thought about what the face of a human is made of, my face consists of. I thought about the physical part of a face, how it is built up on bones, muscles and nerves, blood vessels and finally skin. I thought about all the layers which are put on top of each other (isn’t this wonderfully quilt related?). And then I thought about how faces carry different layers of meaning, one mask on top of another, mostly never revealing what’s beneath the very last one, the one that shows your real self.

I think most people do not show their real face, they try to show only their superficial
best. And this is how images are often done. Photographers use filters and a lots of
technically sophisticated lenses, painters do not paint the wrinkles and scars that decorate a face – rather they try to show the very best of a person, the beauty or that what could be there and that what reflects a society’s standards. I thought about a person that requires the self-portrait. What do you need a self-portrait for? Don’t you know how you look like? Or is it something you would like to represent but never can? What is it what you see in the mirror? Your true self or something you would like to be? These were the questions I asked myself.

14-31-676-1-qsos-a0a7d1-a_15370I personally hate to be photographed – many people do. The reason might be that someone could catch one of your masks you don’t want to show. On the other hand what is so important that you want to hide? Are self-portraits only another metaphor for self-importance? And when someone feels his/her own self-importance isn’t this exactly what we call vanity?

There it was, that word “vanity.” I immediately thought of the old biblical theme about the deadly sins and I decided to work on a whole series about these. What could be better for this theme than represent each character through a face, distorting it into a grotesque not only to make it overly clear which character is reflected but also to show a certain satiric moment. So “Vanity” in fact was the first piece of this series, big drawings first, which have been executed on fine Chinese paper and backed with silk, then repeated as coloured stitched pieces, quilts… The series about the deadly sins will be continued. I am not through yet with this subject but I also cannot work on this heavy theme continuously. Where would be the fun?

By the way, the piece was rejected at the competition. Apparently it was too controversial and did not meet the expectations for a self-portrait!

You can read more stories about quilts from around the world at the Quilters’ S.O.S.- Save Our Stories page on the Quilt Alliance’s site.

EmmaParker

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