Gifts from Gilmer.

On this day in 1935, John Royce Mathis was born in Gilmer, Texas to Clem and Mildred Mathis. The family moved to San Francisco when Johnny was a young boy his father, recognizing his son’s musical potential, bought him a piano for $25 and traded odd jobs for voice lessons. Mathis excelled at sports too—competing as a star athlete in track and field and basketball in high school. Mathis’s recording career highlights includes an unprecedented 480 continuous weeks on the Billboard Top Albums Chart for his Greatest Hits record, released in 1958.

Donoene McKay of Gilmer, Texas machine pieced and hand quilted this Yellow Rose of Texas quilt in 1983, using more than 5,000 pieces to create the pictorial motif. This quilt was reviewed and documented during the Texas Sesquicentennial Quilt Association’s Phase II of the Texas Quilt Search, 1986-1989, and contributed to The Quilt Index by the Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

From this record:

Quiltmaker states: I always wanted to do something in mosaic and did not know how. Had always done my own needlepoint designs and realized one day that each stitch could be used as a square. I worked out a needlepoint rose from [the Jackson & Perkins] catalog–then painted it in oils, then marked a grid. The Olfa cutter was new and gave me trouble to learn to use, but what a godsend for cutting out 5000+ little squares. I sewed on 4 machines with different colors thread, having filed the presser feet to one eighth in width. I made a mock-up with muslin background and began again with the green background. Both quilts were finished in one year.”

 

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.johnnymathis.com/bio2.php


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

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Spears, Globes, Carpets, and Climbers.

On this day in 1988, Stacy Allison of Portland, Oregon, became the first American woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, the highest point on earth. Allison is now an author and motivational speaker.

Jan Magee of Denver, Colorado machine pieced and embroidered and machine and hand quilted this 22” x 29” wall piece, titled “Spears, Globes, Carpets, and Climbers” in 2004. From this Quilt Index record:

This quilt is one of 64 art quilts that make up the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum‘s Rooted in Tradition Collection, which is on traveling exhibit throughout the USA through 2008. Featured in the book “Rooted in Tradition: Art Quilts from the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum.” … Donated to the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum by the maker, Jan Magee of Denver, CO.f

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/american-woman-climbs-everest


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

The Old Sea Chest Discovery.

On this day in 1953, Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts married Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, a photographer for the Washington Times-Herald, at St. Mary’s church in Newport, Rhode Island. Wedding guests numbered over 750 and another 3,000 onlookers waited outside the church. Kennedy was elected U.S. President seven years later, the youngest man to ever take this office.

This Kaleidoscope quilt top was made around 1919 in Newport, Rhode Island.  The owner discovered the quilt and others in an old sea chest in his family home, and documented in the Rhode Island Quilt Documentation Project in 1992. From this record: “Owner is unsure of who made this and other quilts found with it, but believes it to be one of three women: Pamela Albro-owner’s great grandmother, Fanny Albro Barker-owner’s grandmother, or Rebecca Barker Dennis-owner’s aunt.”

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/jfk-marries-jacqueline-bouvier


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

Tying the Knots.

On this day in 2001, four coordinated terrorist attacks were carried out in the United States by al-Qaeda, an Islamist extremist group. The attacks killed nearly 3,000 people from 93 nations. 2,753 people were killed in the World Trade Center in New York City, 184 people were killed at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and 40 people were killed on Flight 93 in Pennsylvania.

Rebecca Magnus of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan made this Square in a Square quilt in 2001. She remembers: “I was tying the knots in the last two sections of machine quilting threads when I saw the 2nd plane hit the World Trade Center. This will forever be etched in my mind – where I was and what I was doing.” Magnus documented her quilt through the Michigan Quilt Project.

Source:
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/attack-on-america


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

A Note Sewn to the Quilt.

On this day in 1893, First Lady Frances Folsom Cleveland, the wife of President Grover Cleveland, gave birth to their second daughter, Esther, in the White House. The Cleveland child was not the first baby to be born in the White House; Thomas Jefferson’s daughter Martha Randolph gave birth to her son James Madison Randolph there in 1806.

Detail showing note sewn to quilt.

Louiza Sheardon of Iowa (Cold or Collins) made this Churn Dash Crib Quilt in July, 1893. A note sewn to the quilt reads:

“John W. Phares. This brown calico with the little white and green specks in is a dress of your grand mother Paxton’s mother’s. Consequently it was little Louiza Phare’s Great Great Grand Mother’s dress. I made a present of this little quilt to my name-sake this 3rd day – july 1893 in the 74 year of my age. Your Aunt Lou Sheardon (Shardon?) Copied by Louiza’s Sister (Laura)”

The owner of the quilt, a relative of Mary Louiza Phares, received it as a gift and documented it during the Florida 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/presidents-child-born-in-white-house


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

Tree of Life (and death) in South Carolina.

On this day in 1781, one of the bloodiest battles of the Revolutionary War took place in Eutaw Springs, on the banks of the Santee River in South Carolina. This was the last major battle of the Revolutionary war to take place in the South and casualties included 500 Americans and 700 British.

Charlotte Evance Cordes hand quilted this wholecloth Tree of Life quilt around 1810 in St. Stephen’s Parish, South Carolina (about 25 miles east of Eutaw Springs). Cordes was the daughter of Major Thomas Evance, and the quilt remained with the family until 1983 when the family donated the quilt to the DAR Museum.

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/bloody-battle-begins-at-eutaw-springs-south-carolina
See photos of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church built in St. Stephens, S.C. in 1769 (still in use today).


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

Q.S.O.S. Spotlight

We’re a day late for this week’s Q.S.O.S. Sunday Spotlight, but we’re right on time for Labor Day here in the United States. While looking through our Q.S.O.S. stories, I noticed a trio of interviews with Vermont-based quilters, each of whom were involved with the Vermont Quilt Festival, which got its start at the Northfield, Vermont Labor Day festival. Though the Vermont Quilt Festival has moved, Northfield continues to have a Labor Day celebration each year.

This week, we’re featuring excerpts from 3 interviews, each about the way that a small-town festival influenced their own quiltmaking story.

Cyrena Persons told interview Nola Forbes about helping out at the first festival, where quilts were laid on the floor for judging: 

“Nola Forde: Tell about some of your experiences with the Vermont Quilt Festival.

Cyrena Persons: That started out, the first that I knew about it, it may have started the previous year, in Northfield. At the Labor Day festival. I’m not sure what they call it, but Dick Cleveland decided that there should be a Quilt Show incorporated in this festival, this celebration. We met with another lady. […] Yes, Jeannie Hutchinson. We met at the Armory. [laughs.] Dick thought we ought to judge these quilts that came in. I don’t think there were more than five or six quilts. We had no way to hang them up. So somehow he had obtained some newsprint from the newspaper office. He laid it out. Rolled out this newsprint on the floor. A couple of layers of it.

NF: This was blank newsprint?

CP: Yes. We spread the quilts on it. Why, that was the beginning of my life. That was something else. We judged those quilts […] I’ve always been amazed at the progression of the show. It started out to be local quiltmakers. Then more and more antique quilts came in. I was able to write the commentary about the antique quilts for a time. It’s just a wonderful memory of going to those shows and seeing the progress that quiltmakers have made. The art quilts were developed along with that. Several years after the show got started, I think. It just amazes me. I am pleased that I could have been a part of it.”

Connie Page started quilting after being inspired by what she saw one Labor Day weekend at the festival in Northfield:

“I can remember going, years ago, my husband and I, on Labor Day were taking a ride on his motorcycle. We ended up in Northfield. [Vermont.] We stopped because there were things going on for Labor Day. They were having something called a quilt show. I didn’t know anything about quilt shows then. I went in to the old Armory there. There were some old ones, beautiful ones. Then I went across the street and in the stores across the street. They were fabulous, I thought. I didn’t know people could do that with fabric. That was the start.”

Lucile Leister also shared her memories of the early years of the quilt show in Northfield:

“I don’t know exactly, I don’t remember exactly how I got started, but it was definitely with Richard Cleveland. Dick Cleveland and I were kind of–[laughs.] we got along very well. He was very interested in quilts. He didn’t make quilts himself, but as the same thing happened to me, he had some quilts from his family, and he didn’t know how they were made, but he’d like to find out. He thought there were some other people that knew how to do this, and so I got kind of in cahoots with Dick Cleveland. At that point, they were having a Labor Day celebration in Northfield. [Vermont.] He started–the Vermont Quilt Festival started as a group of quilts in the basement of the church in Northfield. Well, we didn’t have very many wonderful quilts in those days, but we had quilts. That’s how it got started, it was very small but there was a group of people that were interested in getting it–getting this thing started. Well, it wasn’t very long before the basement of the church was not adequate, so there was–I don’t remember whether–there was a place downtown that we had it, but I think that was after we even got started at Norwich because we realized that Norwich University had the space that we could use. There were some people up there that were willing to get–to put in some work on it, too. So I was on the Board of the Quilt Festival for quite a number of years, until it began to get so big that I just thought ‘No, I guess I don’t really need to get into anything that big.’ I did teach a few years, but at the point where it just mushroomed–and it really did mushroom there at one point.”

Want to learn more? 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