Made in Depression-era Detroit.

On this day in 1936,  American poet, novelist, and social activist Marge Piercy was born in Detroit, Michigan. She is the author of seventeen novels including The New York Times Bestseller Gone To Soldiers, eighteen volumes of poetry including The Hunger Moon and The Moon is Always Female, and a critically acclaimed memoir Sleeping with Cats. She has been a key player in anti-war and equal rights movements in the U.S.

Pauline Gibbons of Waterford Township, Michigan (about 45 minutes northwest of Detroit) made this Seven Sisters quilt entirely by hand in the 1930’s. From this record:

“Made for her daughter Elizabeth on her death passed to daughter Patricia (Betty’s sister) on her death passed to Susan Bieri (Patricia’s daughter). Susan says, “This is one of my most treasured possessions…She only made 7 quilts and then decided she didn’t like quilting.”

Bieri documented the 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://margepiercy.com/portfolio-items/about-marge/


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

Q.S.O.S. Spotlight

There are many, many Q.S.O.S. interviews that contain stories of quilts being passed down, through families, and traveling across generations along family lines. But this week’s Q.S.O.S. Spotlight features a quilt that traveled around a family in a different way, when it was sold in a family auction and then won again by quiltmaker Judy Baxter-Warrington. Her charming story of a family heirloom and its travels is our Q.S.O.S. spotlight this week:

“This is a quilt that was made by three generations on my mother’s side of the family. Every year for our family reunion, almost every year, I make some form of a quilt to auction off and it helps pay for the reunion expenses, and other things that the family does throughout the year.

This particular one I’d seen in a magazine, and I just fell in love with it, and I decided I would make it for that particular reunion. It was about two thousand and five I believe. I can clarify that when I actually bring the quilt. I worked on it for a long time. It’s got lots of pieces in it. It’s very colorful, but it’s done in eighteen thirties fabrics something that I wanted. I pieced it all and the week before the reunion attempted to quilt it. This quilt is suppose to be queen size but, as most of my projects end up being, it’s closer to a king size. [MM laughs.] So here I am, slinging this big quilt over my shoulder, trying to shove it through the machine, and the machine is giving way to the weight of the quilt. I think I got about six inches attempted to be quilted and decided I was not going to be able to get this one machine quilted. So I said, ‘Okay, I have to come up with another plan here folks.’ I took the quilt with me. I packed it all up and we went to Indiana. On my way there I came up with a plan. I decided rather than just tying the quilt, which is one of the traditional ways of finishing the quilt sandwich, I would tie it with buttons. There are tons of buttons all over this quilt. It’s tied with twill cotton sewn through the buttons. My mother, my daughter, and my granddaughter all helped me work with it. My granddaughter helped pick out the buttons and hand them to us. We were sewing the last buttons on the morning of the reunion.

I had a real trauma because one of my cousins was the successful bidder on the quilt, and I hadn’t even had time to really, as most quilters will know that’s themselves in that quilt, and they need to touch it, and look at it, and show it to other people. I never got that opportunity to do that. We packed it up and drove back to Missouri with it. I didn’t get to see the quilt. It just went bye-bye.

Just to tell a little bit on the side here, he and his then wife, in the following year I believe it was, they divorced. He took custody of the quilt. He brought it back two years ago, 2007, and put it back up for bid. This ornery cousin likes to bid against me at the family reunions. We’re near the same age. Everybody knew that I that I wanted to get my quit back. I had a budget because I didn’t have a lot of money. I had two hundred dollars that I could pay for it, although I knew it was worth a lot more than two hundred dollars. He kept bidding against me, cause he was maybe going to give it to one of his kids who had liked it. I said, ‘No, I wanted to take my quilt home and enjoy it for a little while before,’ maybe, giving it back and into the reunion kitty. At any rate, it hit two hundred and I was gulping, almost in tears. Another cousin, who understands this little game that gets played at the reunions, bid on it for me and bought it for me. [MM gasps.] So, I have it now on my bed at home.  I love the quilt, although I’ve had it now for a while. Maybe not this year, but possibly next, I will take it back to reunion, let it travel on to another family to enjoy, now that I’ve had time to really absorb the quilt.”

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

Right Back Where I Started From.

On this day in 1776, Mexican-born explorer Juan Bautista de Anza arrived at the future site of San Francisco with 247 colonists. Seven years earlier the Portola expedition, which included Franciscan friars led by Junipero Serra, had reached the Golden Gate and discovered San Francisco for Spain. Anza established a military fort called a presidio on the tip of the San Francisco peninsula, now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.


Loree Marquardt of Colorado Springs, Colorado made this house-shaped wall quilt titled “Right Back Where I Started From” in 2012 for the Quilt Alliance’s “Home Is Where the Quilt Is” contest. Marquardt says in her artist’s statement:

“I am a ninth generation Californian. My tenth great grandfather in 1769 traveled with the Portola Expedition and Father Serra to San Diego. They then went on to discover the Port of Monterey. This quilt is a small tribute to where I started from. California symbolizes so many things to me from the Golden Gate Bridge, to the mission bells, to the surfing shore line, to my heritage. Home is where the quilt is.”

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/de-anza-founds-san-francisco
http://www.nps.gov/prsf/historyculture/index.htm


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

Festival of Appliqued and Embroidered Cherries.

On this day in 1912, First Lady Helen Taft and Japanese Viscountess Chinda planted two Yoshina cherry trees on the Potomac River bank in Washington, D.C. The trees (3,000 of them) were a gift to the U.S. government from the Japanese. The blossoming trees were so popular that in 1934, city commissioners sponsored a 3-day celebration during the late March blooming of the trees. The Cherry Blossom Festival is now celebrated annually. In 2012, more than 1.5 million visitors attended the Centennial Celebration of the Gift of the Trees.

 

 

Josie Davidson, a Swedish immigrant living in Virginia near the Tennessee border, made this Vase of Roses and Cherries quilt in 1876, possibly as a wedding gift.  Davidson hand appliqued, embroidered and quilted this piece. From this quilt record:

In 1905 the five sons, and presumably the quilt, came to Texas “to get rich laying track” for the railroad. The quilt has been handed down in the family to the present owner, a granddaughter of the quiltmaker.

The quilt was documented during the Texas Quilt Search and included in the book “Lone Stars: A Legacy of Texas Quilts, Vol. 1, 1836-1936 (Bresenhan and Puentes, Austin: University of Texas Press). One of 62 Texas quilts included in the “Lone Stars” exhibition at the Texas State Capitol Rotunda, Austin, Texas, April 19-21, 1986.

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/japanese-cherry-trees-planted-along-the-potomac
http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/about/history/


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

Remembering Alzheimer’s.

On this day in 1930, Sandra Day O’Connor was born in El Paso. She was the first woman to be appointed to the United States Supreme Court. In 2009 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor. Her husband John Jay O’Connor suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for nearly 20 years until his death, and Justice O’Connor has devoted herself to raising awareness of the disease.

Didi Salvatierra of Abingdon, Maryland made this 16” x 16” wall quilt, titled “Salute to Ami’s Army” for the 2011 Quilt Alliance contest “Alliances: People, Patterns, Passion.” Salvatierra wrote in her artist’s statement: “I honor the work of Ami Simms, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative and her corps of volunteers. This national, grassroots charity is dedicated to raising awareness and funding research for Alzheimer’s Disease through art.”

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/Sandra_Day_O%27Connor


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

Remembering the Factory Workers.

On this day in 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory in New York City burned down killing 146 workers, mostly young immigrant women. Many of the victims died due to locked exterior doors, faulty elevators and fire escapes. The workers’ union organized a march on April 5 and some 80,000 people attended it. The disaster compelled the city to enact labor and fire safety reforms. The nonprofit Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition was founded in 2008 to establish a permanent memorial for the victims and promote new collaborations between communities to continue the fight for social justice for all.

This Scrap Crazy Quilt was hand pieced and hand quilted by an unknown quiltmaker. It is made of a variety of striped knit fabric, which were probably silk scraps from a hose factory around the turn of the century (late 1800’s). The quilt, made up of thirty 12” square blocks, was documented in 1993 as part of the Connecticut Quilt Search 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/triangle-shirtwaist-fire-in-new-york-city
http://rememberthetrianglefire.org/about-2/about/

 


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

Born in Mississippi.

On this day in 1955, Tennessee Williams’ play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opened in New York City.  Williams was born in Columbia, Mississippi and overcame sickness and an abusive father to become a paid writer by the time he was 17.

Lovenia Toliver of Mississippi hand pieced and quilted this Crazy Quilt between 1950-1975. The quilt is foundation pieced with fabrics that include burlap bags, old blankets, denim and other cottons. Toliver’s family member documented it during 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/cat-on-a-hot-tin-roof-opens
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennessee_Williams
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Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance
amy.milne@quiltalliance.org