The Least Painful Corset.

On this day in 1913, a New York socialite named Mary Phelps Jacob received a patent for her invention of the modern brassiere, a streamlined alternative to the unhealthy and painful corset.

Mary Givens Pickel of Bloomsbury, New Jersey, hand pieced and hand quilted this Crazy Quilt in 1930 from a variety of fabrics including scraps from fabric used to make her corsets. The record in includes this note:

“Quiltmaker had a back problem and had her corsets made by a seamstress. This quilt was made from the corset fabric scraps.”

The quilt was documented by Pickel’s son in 1997 as part of the Heritage Quilt Project of New Jersey, Inc., and was included in the book “Herstory:Quilts of Hunterdon County,” p. 30.

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://inventors.about.com/od/bstartinventions/a/brassiere.htm


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

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Wisconsin Treasure: From the Dump to the Museum!

On this day in 1848, Wisconsin entered the union as the 30th state.  The territory had passed from French to British to American control starting in 1634, when the area was a major center of fur trade. Wisconsin citizens finally approved statehood so they could gain from federal programs that were helping neighboring Midwestern to prosper.

This Mexican Rose Variation quilt was made by an unknown quilter around 1870 in Wisconsin. According to the Quilt Index record:

“It was donated to the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts by Nancy Stecker. Her husband found it inside a trunk he took from the Town of Cedarburg Dump in the 1970s. The appliqued border on this quilt is very similar to the border on the other quilt found in the trunk.”

It was documented by the museum during the Wisconsin Quilt History 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/wisconsin-enters-the-union


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

Peter, Paul and Gladys.

On this day in 1944, American singer, songwriter and actress Gladys Maria Knight was born in Atlanta, Georgia. Knight began singing with her brothers and sisters at age 8; they called themselves “the Pips.” The family opened for R&B legends in the 1950’s and crossed over to pop music when they signed with Motown Records in the 1960’s.

Gladys S. Kamberger of Buffalo, Wyoming, machine pieced and hand quilted this green and yellow “Rob Peter to Pay Paul” quilt in 1996. Fabrics used (although it’s hard to see in this photo) include floral and solid cottons. Noted in this Quilt Index record:

This was a “quilt as you go” pattern from a magazine, in which there were 19 different “chunks” of motifs sewn together on the diagonal, starting with the upper left corner.

Kamberger documented her quilt in 2002 as part of the Wyoming Quilt Project, Inc.

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.biography.com/people/gladys-knight-9542334#awesm=~oFwot8gRF9xZHd


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

Bridges and Stitches from San Fran.

On this day in 1937, the city of San Francisco celebrated the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge. The bridge, spanning 4,200 feet from San Francisco to Marin County, was the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time.

Mike McNamara of San Francisco made this quilt, titled “Invite Us to Your Next Blowout,” in 2012 for the Quilt Alliance’s “Home Is Where the Quilt Is contest.” Mike’s artist statement: “My dad had a tire company and he and my mom created a very fun home and lively life. To this day I love the smell of new tires.”

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/golden-gate-bridge-opens-to-public

Don’t miss your chance to enter this year’s Quilt Alliance quilt contest! Postmark deadline for the 2014 “Inspired By” contest is June 1. More information and entry form here.

Professional judges will select the Handi Quilter Grand Prize and the winner will receive a HQ Sweet Sixteen longarm sit-down machine package (machine, table and bobbin winder) by Handi Quilter, Inc.  Prize includes training by a local Handi Quilter retailer.


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

To Honor and Cover: Memorial Quilts.

The Quilt Index contains more than 54,000 records of quilts and quilt-related ephemera. Each quilt, or top, or pattern in this massive online resource has a story to tell about the person/people who made it, the person/people it was made for, the occasion or reason and the time period and location it was made. Quilts made by family members to comfort their loved ones (and strangers) during or after battle, quilts made to honor noted countrymen and women who served, quilts made by tailors from uniform scraps, and sometimes even quilts made by someone who served themselves, are well documented in this database of more than 54,000 quilts.

The quilts I’ve chosen to share today in honor of Memorial Day are from ten different Quilt Index contributors, including museums, state documentation projects and organizations, who documented and preserved the history of the quilt, the quiltmaker and the story of the quilt for this and future generations. Click on the images to visit The Quilt Index and view the basic record page for each quilt. To see the full information available for each record click on the [See Full Record] link at the bottom of the basic record page.

 

Thank You Clara Barton
By: Holmes, Ann
Date: June 1, 2012
Location Made: Asheville, North Carolina
Project Name: Home Is Where the Quilt Is
Contributor: Quilt Alliance

It is amazing all that she accomplished for our country. Establishing a public school; “Angel of the Battlefield” during the Civil War; spent four years to identify over 22,000 missing soldiers; established the American Red Cross and served as president for 23 years; at 83, president of National First Aid Association. She certainly patched many lives together! Her work was not considered women’s work and never had the right to vote. Clara died in 1912.

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Nontraditional
Top By: Kobler, Elizabeth
Period: Pre-1799
Date: ca. 1778
Location Made: Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia (WV) USA
Project Name: Permanent Collection
Contributor: DAR Museum

Donor History: Wool quilt pieced from tailor Barnette Kobler’s scrap box by his wife, Elizabeth Kobler, circa 1778. Barnette Kobler tailored Revolutionary War soldiers’ uniforms. Barnette Kobler had his tailor shop in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia from 1774 to 1777. Barnette Kobler’s parents died in an Indian raid. Barnette Kobler, along with four of his siblings survived the attack and was taken into the care of his neighbors. Since his guardians were tailors, Barnette became apprenticed to the tailor trade.

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Four Freedoms
Top and quilting By:
Stenge, Bertha
Date: 1943
Location Made: Chicago, Illinois (IL) USA
Contributor: Illinois State Museum

Inscription: “Freedom from Fear, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, Freedom of Speech.” Handmade during World War II. Appliqued Minute Man soldier in center, surrounded by hand-pieced 5-pointed stars.
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War Between the States

Quiltmaker: Unknown
Date: 1860
Location Made: United States
Project Name: Michigan Quilt Project
Contributor: Michigan State University Museum

Top pieced by the wife of a veteran of Sherman’s March. Made for a soldier in hopes of his safe return to Pennsylvania from the Civil War. The color represented the colors of the North and South.

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Feathered Star
Top and Quilting By: Kinkead, Rowanna; Kinkead, Nan; Kinkead, Polly Ann
Date: c. 1855
Location Made: Rogersville, Tennessee (TN) USA
Project Name: Quilts of Tennessee
Contributor: Tennessee State Library and Archives

This quilt (and Rocky Mountain Rail Road) made for Nan Kinkead’s dowry/hope chest when she came home from college, Holston Conference Female College for Women, Asheville, North Carolina, 1856. The feathered star was loaned to a young confederate soldier during the Civil War, when he hid out in a cave in back of the house. The farm was called Cave Hill Farm because of the cave there. The quilt was found some years after the war in the cave, stuck in a wall nook.

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LeMoyne stars/ 9 Patch/uneven/ Square in a Square etc, Sampler
Quilter Group: Boston women (donated to NEQM by Hobart M.Harmon)
Date: 1865
Project Name: NEQM Permanent Collection (MassQuilts Documentation)
Contributor: New England Quilt Museum

Made for Harmon’s great-great-great grandfather James George, a soldier in U.S. Army, Civil War; “H” company, NY Infantry volunteers.

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Schoolhouse variation
Pattern Names: House Quilt
Top By: Griswold, Levi
Quilted By: Griswold, Levi’s aunt
Date: 1890-1925
Location Made: Yarrow, Missouri (MO) United States
Project Name: Iowa Quilt Research Project
Contributor: State Historical Society of Iowa

Levi made the quilt when he was about 15 years old. He was awarded Distinguished Service Cross in WW I where he was killed in action.

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EIGHT POINT STAR, EIGHT POINTED STAR
Top By: AYERS, SARAH & WILLIE
Date: 1905
Location Made: United States
Project Name: West Virginia Heritage Quilt Search

Made for brother, William Daniel Ayers (Friar Hills, Greenbrier County, WV); died in 1927. Given to his daughter Kate Ayers McMilion, until 1936. Given to Ina McMillion Montgomery, daughter of Kate. William was a Confederate soldier.

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Spanish American War Commemorative Flag Quilt
Pattern Names: quilt is an original
Date: 1890-1910
Location Made: Laramie, Wyoming (WY) United States
Project Name: Wyoming Quilt Project, Inc.

Handwritten names of persons who served or raised funds for Spanish American War. stripes of the quilt Names on red stripes are not legible. Names included here are written on the white stripes.

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Friendship, Friendship Applique Quilt
Top By:
Inman, Mary
Period: 1850-1875
Date: End of Civil War
Location Made: North Carolina (NC) United States
Project Name: North Carolina Quilt Project

Made other quilts; Children: One child was named Christian Orella; Squares were given by friends and quilted when soldiers returned; Quilting was followed by a dance that night.

View all of these quilts on The Quilt Index to read more about it’s history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view.

Please help us spread the word about the Quilt Index to everyone you know who loves/makes/owns/collects/studies quilts and history.

Wishing you all a nice Memorial Day!
Amy

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

 

Q.S.O.S. Spotlight

In 1967, the United States Congress officially named Memorial Day as a day to celebrate and remember men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Services. For many years, quiltmakers have been making quilts to honor those service members or comfort the loved ones they left behind. This week’s Q.S.O.S. Spotlight features a quilted tribute to a member of the armed service, a stunning and symbolic quilt Suzanne Botts of Missouri made for her oldest son.

Image “I wanted to tell about the one I’m currently working on, which is for my oldest son who retired from a twenty-year career in the Army last fall.

The main body of the quilt is a tan fabric that has a pattern in it that looks sort of like a cracked glaze on pottery. The cracks are an indeterminate color – gray, navy, olive. In the center of that top I appliquéd the head of an eagle from the 101st Airborne’s patch. I didn’t want to put a stark white head on the eagle because I wanted the colors to be somewhat muted in this quilt. And I was lucky enough to find a soft gray fabric that sort of looks like a batik and the pattern in it resembled the grain of feathers so I used that for the eagle’s head. And then his beak of course is a dark gold and his tongue is red as in the patch, the army patch. And I enlarged this and put it in the center of the quilt on an olive-green shield. The top part of the 101st patch that says Airborne, I did the letters for the Airborne out of felted wool. I felted the wool myself and appliquéd those letters on.

Down in the center of the eagle’s neck, I put in, in reverse appliqué, a cross-stitched Army emblem. I set this 101st Airborne patch in the center of an oval, which is meant to represent a tree. The tree stands in my front yard and has born any number of yellow ribbons for my sons who were in Desert Storm and then Chris in Iraq. I couldn’t afford $75 a yard brown linen, so I used a linen tablecloth and cut an oval to surround the eagle. And on the top of that oval, around the top third of that oval, in felted wool letters it reads, ‘We are a band of brothers.’ Around the lower third of that brown oval the letters read, “A rendezvous with destiny,” which is a famous statement made about the destiny of the 101st Airborne.

Up the sides of the oval I am in the process of appliquéing leaves, the pattern for which came from that same tree that carried the yellow ribbon. And segments of the yellow ribbon that was on that tree for the year while my son was in Iraq are being woven into those leaves and will be tied at the bottom of the oval right over a cross-stitch replica of the bronze star that he earned, was awarded for his service in Iraq. It will have his name and service dates. Then I have a collection of patches from all the units in which he served – about twelve of those. And I am cross-stitching labels to identify those patches with the location, for instance Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, the dates he served there, the name of the unit that he was in, and the motto of the unit – Screaming Eagles or whatever.

The cracked glaze fabric that makes up the center of the quilt is bordered with a two-inch wide navy blue band. Three eight-inch borders outside of that are striped with muslin alternated with red and blue striped fabric that has stars in it, representative of the flag. The top right and the lower left corners of the quilt borders are fabric that has the Pledge of Allegiance printed on it. The top left square of the border has a photo of my son, his flag picture, from basic training when he first went in the Army. The lower right hand square of the border has a photo transfer of my son in desert camouflage being greeted by his two daughters at the airport when he came home from Iraq. The caption under that picture will read, ‘Home is the warrior, Home from the fields.’ […]

On a back corner of the quilt near where I will sign my name and date as the maker of the quilt, I plan to put in some form this quote from a WestPoint manual: ‘It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who gives us freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag who allows the protestor to burn the flag.'[…]

The top was presented to him at Christmas. I had not had time since his retirement to complete the whole quilt. I’m still working on it, but the top was intact and we presented it to him at Christmas when the entire family could be present.”

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

 

 

Wagon Train!

On this day in 1843, a wagon train made up of 1,000 settlers and 1,000 head of cattle sets off along the Oregon Trail from Independence, Missouri. This “Great Emigration” of Americans reached Oregon in five months. Travel over the Oregon Trail peaked in 1845 when more than 3,000 made the journey. The trail was abandoned in the 1870’s after the advent of the railroad.

Pat Hubbard of Greeley, Colorado made this quilt, titled “South Fork of the Oregon Trail,” in 1994, a tribute to her grandparents’ travel from the east to the Colorado Territory. The detailed embroidery accurately depicts many plants, birds and other animals found in the region. This quilt took 6th place in the National Lands Contest and was exhibited at county fairs. The quilt was purchased by the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum for its permanent collection.

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/great-emigration-departs-for-oregon


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