Our First First Lady Quilted.

On this day in 1789, Martha Dandridge Custis Washington became the first First Lady of the United States (although this term would not be used for another seventy years). A quilt attributed to Washington is in the Smithsonian Museum collection.

This wholecloth quilt in the DAR Museum collection was made around 1800 by an unknown quiltmaker. The plate-printed fabric used in the quilt was also used by Martha Washington in an unfinished bedcover in the collection of The Mount Vernon Ladies’s Association of the Union.  Read about a quilt attributed Martha Washington in Barbara Brackman’s “Quilt 1812 War and Piecing” blog.

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/Martha_Washington


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

Hairpin Catcher.

On this day in 1968, the controversial rock musical “Hair” premiered on Broadway after a 6-week run at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater in the East Village. The show debuted the song “Aquarius” which became an icon of ‘60’s counterculture, with references to sex and drugs.

Lizzie Longmire of Andersonville, Tennessee hand quilted this Hairpin Catcher, or Brickwork, one patch quilt between 1901-1929. Longmire used men’s wool suiting fabric for the front of the quilt and handwoven coverlets for the back side (detail photo below). The quilt was documented (by the family member who inherited it) 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.history.com/this-day-in-history/hair-premieres-on-broadway


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

Born in Virginia.

On this day in 1758, James Monroe was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia to Spence Monroe, a planter and carpenter, and Elizabeth Jones, a well-educated woman of Welsh descent. Monroe studied at the College of William and Mary, fought in the American Revolution and became the fifth President of the United States, serving from 1817 to 1825.

Veline Cox Johnston of Virginia made this Pine Tree quilt around 1930 as a gift for her daughter, who documented the quilt as part of the Quilts of Tennessee. Johnston, a Methodist homemaker of Scotch Irish descent, was born in 1896, the daughter of Pollyanna and George Cox.

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://americanhistory.about.com/od/jamesmonroe/p/pmonroe.htm


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

Q.S.O.S. Spotlight

We’re doing something different today for this Sunday’s Q.S.O.S. Spotlight . April is National Poetry month, and the Q.S.O.S. archives are full of quilts inspired by poems. Today we’re featuring 3 quilts alongside the poems that inspired them. Click on the interviewee’s name and the quilts to read more about how these poems inspired them!

Diane Horbort, interviewed in Houston, Texas in November of 2000

From From my Arm-Chair
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The heart hath its own memory, like the mind,
And in it are enshrined
The precious keepsakes, into which is wrought
The giver’s loving thought.

 

 

 

 

 

Donnette Cooper, interviewed in Washington, DC, in March of 2003

We Wear the Mask by Paul Laurence Dunbar

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!

Mary Diamond, interviewed in Houston, Texas, in November of 2002

From Inversnaid by Gerard Manly Hopkins

This darksome burn, horseback brown,
His rollrock highroad roaring down,
In coop and in comb the fleece of his foam
Flutes and low to the lake falls home.

A windpuff-bonnet of fawn-froth
Turns and twindles over the broth
Of a pool so pitchblack, fell-frowning,
It rounds and rounds Despair to drowning.

Degged with dew, dappled with dew
Are the groins of the braes that the brook treads through,
Wiry heathpacks, flitches of fern,
And the beadbonny ash that sits over the burn.

What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.

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

The Bowling Quilt.

On this day in 1947, President Harry S. Truman officially opened the first White House bowling alley. The two-lane alley was constructed in the West Wing with funding provided by a group of Truman’s fellow Missourians in honor of the president.

Anna Pozara of Roseville, Michigan made this “Bowling Quilt” for a local bowling club. Pozara 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://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/truman-inaugurates-white-house-bowling-alley


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

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


Quilt Index partners

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