A Georgia Star for Daisy.

On this day in 1860, Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA was born in Savannah, Georgia. Known to her family as Daisy, Ms. Low had a lifelong interest in the arts and a love of animals including exotic birds. Visitors to the family home–a museum since 1956 (www.juliettegordonlowbirthplace.org)–can view a star-patterned quilt, made by Low’s niece Sarah Stites Gordon, proudly displayed in one of the bedrooms.

This remarkably modern looking “Star of Columbia” quilt was made in Fort Gaines, Georgia between 1876-1900. It was pieced by hand and machine, and quilted by hand and is 79 inches square. The owner of the quilt, the granddaughter of the quiltmaker, contributed this documentation in Minnesota. She recalled: “The big house burned in 1939 from a chimney fire. The tenants were able to get 2 trunks of quilts & my grandmother’s organ out. Family bible, 14 portraits and 5 trunks of quilts burned. My father and mother kept the quilts and at their death passed on to me and my sister. My sister died July 2008. She had no children.”

This quilt was documented during the Minnesota Quilt Project in 2010.

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.girlscouts.org/who_we_are/history/low_biography/


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

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

Deviled and Angel.

On this day sometime in the early 1940’s, the tradition of “Devil’s Night” began in the Detroit, Michigan. Similar to “Mischief Night” practiced in other parts of the U.S. and the world, the night was marked by vandalism including arson, especially from 1970’s to the 1990’s. Community activists have attempted to tame the cultural phenomenon by renaming it “Angel’s Night” and organizing volunteer neighborhood patrols to keep the peace and prevent crime.

Jane Burch Cochran of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky made this 65” x 54” quilt, titled “Deviled and Angel,” in 2003. It is part of the Founders Collection at the National Quilt 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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil%27s_Night


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

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

Bettys.

On this day in 1966, the National Organization for Women (NOW) was founded. Betty Friedan was elected the first president of this civil rights organization focused on women’s rights.

Another Betty, Betty Hobbs, a housewife and seamstress from Perquimans County, North Carolina, made this “Texas Star with Nine Patch Corners” quilt in the early 1900’s for her granddaughter. Hobb’s hand quilting is recorded as 12 stitches per inch and the quilt is 73.25” square. Hobbs’ quilt was documented as part of the North Carolina Quilt Project in 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://womenshistory.about.com/od/feminism/p/now.htm


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

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

Freedom to Dream.

On this day in 1886, U.S. President Grover Cleveland dedicated the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. The 151 foot tall sculpture was a gift from the citizens of France to the American citizens in honor of the two countries allegiance during the American Revolutionary War (1775-83).

This quilt titled “Freedom to Dream” was made in 1985 by Marie Anita Wingate Murphy of Kountze, Texas. From this quilt record: “This original design was made by Anita Murphy as her entry for the Great American Quilt Contest Honoring the 100th Anniversary of the Statue of Liberty. The pictorial design depicts her idea of “The Freedom to Dream.” It contains an airplane as a reminder of the first time she saw the Statue of Liberty (she was an airline hostess and had earned travel miles for a trip to New York; the pilot tipped the plane just so Mrs. Murphy could see the Statue of Liberty). This quilt was reviewed and documented during the Texas Sesquicentennial Quilt Association’s Phase II of the Texas Quilt Search, 1986-1989. Karey Bresenhan served as quilt historian.

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/statue-of-liberty-dedicated


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

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

Happy B-day, NYC Subway!

On this day in 1901, the New York City Subway opened with a 9.1 mile route. The subway route now spans 32 miles and carries 4.5 million passengers per day, running 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

This original quilt titled “Trackwork” was made by Vikki Berman Chenette in 1992 when she lived in New York City. The quilt was inspired by stories told by Chenette’s husband, a subway employee who worked on the complicated, intertwining system of underground tracks. The quilt includes a vintage subway token, which was given to Chenette by a fellow member of the Manhattan Quilter’s Guild. The Wyoming Quilt Project documented the quilt in 2002 (Chenette and her husband moved to Buffalo, WY in 1995).

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/new-york-city-subway-opens


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

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

Rebuilding with Quilts.

On this day in 1989, San Francisco suffered the deadliest earthquake since 1906. The quake struck at 5:04 pm, lasted 15 seconds and registered a 7.1 on the Richter scale. The quake was witnessed on live television by fans watching the World Series baseball game at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 11.33.26 AM

This cheerful quilt titled “Bel peyizan lakay” was made by Haitian quiltmaker Denise Estava, whose partially constructed home was destroyed in the massive earthquake in Haiti in 2010. Estava was one of the founders a cooperative called PeaceQuilts set up to raise money for relief assistance through the sale of quilts like this one. You can purchase quilts from this group at their website: http://www.haitipeacequilts.org. This quilt is part of the of the Michigan State University Museum 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/earthquake-rocks-san-francisco


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

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

Breaking Rocks Together.

On this day in 1984, Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work as a civil rights activist. The Nobel Committee cited his “role as a unifying leader figure in the campaign to resolve the problem of apartheid in South Africa.”

This quilt, titled “Mandela Long Walk to Freedom” was made by Melzina Mazibuko of Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa in 2010.  The quilt was documented for the South Africa Quilt History Project and is now in the Michigan State University Museum collection. From this Quilt Index record: “Signed on the bottom front by the artist : “Melzina M.” Memory cloth made by Melzina M. in South Africa. Small colorful wallhanging on black cotton ground. Embroidery and applique on the cloth depict a scene in the Robben Island Prison of Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Tutu and Tamba breaking rocks, doing manual labor. There are prison buildings in the background. The cloth is embellished with beads.”

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/Desmond_Tutu


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

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

Calling all International Quilt Festival attendees!

Will you be attending the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas this year? If so, we want you!

Quilt Alliance will be filming 3 minute videos for our Go Tell It at the Quilt Show! series at the International Quilt Festival this year. Check out some of our videos from last year here.

We need quilters to tell us the story of their quilts, and volunteers to help us collect these stories. We also need volunteers to help staff the Quilt Alliance booth and share information about the organization.

If you’ll be in Houston and you:

  • would like to bring a quilt and share it in your own Go Tell It at the Quilt Show interview
  • have a quilt in the IQA ‘A World of Beauty’ judged show OR a Special Exhibit and would like to share it
  • are interested in being a beloved, celebrated and much-needed volunteer (you can give us as little as 2 hours) at the Quilt Alliance booth or Go Tell It at the Quilt Show booth

We’d love to talk to you!

Sign up for a Go Tell It! Interview
If you arre interested in participating in Go Tell It at the Quilt Show, either with a quilt in the show or a quilt you’ve brought, you can sign up here.

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 9.19.39 PMVolunteer
If you’d like to help out in the Quilt Alliance booth (sharing brochures and membership information) or at the separate Go Tell It booth (registering interviewees, collecting forms, keeping time) you can sign up here.

Please share this post with friends who are headed to Houston–we hope to see you there! Even if you can’t volunteer, stop by the Quilt Alliance booth and say hello!

If you have questions about volunteering or the Go Tell It at the Quilt Show project, email us at qsos@quiltalliance.org.

Thanks!
Emma Parker, Q.S.O.S. and Go Tell It! Project Manager

Q.S.O.S. Spotlight

Have you ever seen a barn quilt on a road trip? More than 43 states now have ‘Quilt Trails’–trails featuring the locations of painted quilt squares on barns and other buildings. The idea was hatched by Donna Sue Groves, of Ohio, and her mother in 1989 but has spread across the country (and even into Canada!).

Today’s Q.S.O.S. Spotlight features an excerpt from a 2008 interview with Donna Sue Groves, as she told the story of the first barn quilt. You can find a quilt trail near you on this page.

“The quilt barn project is a project, or it was an idea, a concept, that probably was birthed about the same time that I watched my grandmother’s quilt and when we would go visit them in the Roane County, West Virginia. During road trips with Mother and Dad, my mother created a car game to keep my brother and I quiet. Since we grew up in West Virginia you can’t play the typical license plate car game when you’re traveling on the back roads of West Virginia, because all you saw was West Virginia license plates. So Mother created a car game and we counted barns. If it was a certain kind of barn, you got two points; if it was another kind of barn, you got three points; if it had outdoor advertising on it, you got a bonus of ten points if you could read it. Barns like “Chew Mail Pouch” or “See Rock City” or “RC Cola,” all kinds of outdoor advertisements. Red barns were higher points. The game led to discussions and questions about the barns, “Were they an English barn, were they Welsh, German and what the purpose of the barns was?” It became a history and cultural opportunity for my mother to engage my brother and I, and my father too, in conversational teaching moments, whether I knew it or not, and they were exciting. I looked forward to seeing barns. And then as a teenager, we traveled through Pennsylvania, where I was first introduced to the German, Pennsylvania Dutch barns with their hex signs which had the most colorful, wonderful, geometric designs on them, and they were worth fifty points in our car game and that was pretty exciting. 

So, as you can see, I was imprinted with the love of barns, as I said, and then imprinted early with quilting and the designs. Both were a major part of my childhood and represented my culture and heritage and my love of home and family. In 1968 we moved away from West Virginia, and moved to the flatland of Ohio, and then eventually the path took my mother and me to southern Ohio, to Adams County where we bought a farm that had a barn on it. So, I finally had a barn that actually belonged to us. One day as mother and I stood looking at our barn in 1989, it was a tobacco barn, and I, not knowing that people actually grew tobacco and dried it in barns was surprised to see how it differed from the barns of my childhood. I didn’t understand about tobacco barns because we didn’t see those in West Virginia or in our travels. I said to Mother, ‘This is the ugliest looking barn I’ve ever seen in my life! It needs some color, and I think I’ll paint you a quilt square on it someday.’ Well, that promise or that outburst became a continuous promise from 1989 through the years, until the year 2000. Friends of mine, Pete Whan with the Nature Conservancy and Elaine Collins, the Economic Development Director in Adams County approached me and said, ‘Donna, your mom’s getting older, and that’s really a great idea, you wanting to create a quilt square for her and paint it on the barn. Pete and I will volunteer to help you.’ And I said, ‘Great. I think that if we’re going to do one, we should consider doing a bunch of quilt squares, because I think we can create a driving trail and people will come to Adams County to drive a trail, to see our barns with quilt squares on them, and ultimately that will create economic opportunity. Our quilters can sell wall hangings and quilts based on these quilt squares, and our artists and photographers can make note cards, and we can have t-shirts, and our potters will make coffee mugs, and we can raise money which will help everybody locally.’ And they said, ‘Oh, how can we do that?’ And I said, ‘Well, we need to form a committee and create a plan of action.’

So we did, and our first committee meeting was in January of 2001, in Adams County. My mother was part of that committee. Several business owners, a couple of barn owners, someone from the Chamber of Commerce and the Travel and Tourism Bureau, there were about ten, twelve of us, sat down together and created this model on how we would create a driving trail. Our goal was to hang or to paint three quilt squares on barns in 2001. We applied to the Ohio Arts Council and received funding for our first three quilt squares, and someone on our committee, Judy Lewis who owns Lewis Mountain Herb Farm, volunteered that she wanted to have the first quilt square and she wanted it dedicated at her festival in October 2001. We all agreed that that would be fine. Mother had researched traditional old quilt square patterns, we tried to be very conscientious about copyright with the concern that we did not infringe on artists or designers of any quilt patterns. So Mother came up with about thirty-five squares, and we voted on twenty, the committee, that we wanted to do. The reason we chose twenty quilt squares to develop a quilt trail, a driving loop, was because mother said that twenty quilt squares make up an average size bed quilt. We felt that the trail needed a beginning or it might go on forever. 

So the end of the beginning of the story, or the end of that story for the moment, is we hung our first quilt square October 2001, at the Lewis Mountain Herb Fair, with an attendance of about 10,000 to 15,000 people. Then the story was out. The press picked it up. An adjoining county, Brown County, Ohio, called and said, ‘We love it. How do we do it?’ Tennessee read an article in a local magazine. They called and wanted to know how to do the project. Iowa wanted to duplicate the project. I spoke at a conference in Nebraska. Pat Gorman from Iowa was there and heard me talk about the trail. When I got back home, Pat called me and said, ‘Donna Sue, Grundy County may not have all of the bridges as Madison County but we have the barns. How do we do the project?’ So Pat and I collaborated. I went out two or three different times to work with Grundy County and help them to get a good start. And the rest is history. Now we’re up to about twenty-two states, and twenty counties in Ohio. I’m very proud.

Want to learn more about Donna Sue Groves and barn quilt trails? Check out the trailer for the documentary Pieced Together, to be released in 2015. 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

Q.S.O.S. Spotlight

October 5th was designated by the United Nations to be “World Teachers Day”. We’re shining our spotlight on quilt teachers–from nationally-known teachers to first-time teachers, and even one quilter who wishes she had just a little more time to teach. Are you a teacher? Have you ever taught someone how to quilt? Did someone teach you? “World Teachers Day” might be a great day to say thank you to your favorite teacher!

Jean Wells Keenan: I started quilting when I was a young married mother and mother of two and I was teaching Home Economics and they decided that we should have boys in Home Ec. and so I was looking for projects that boys could do. I ran across some patchwork kind of things from England. What appealed to me was the accurate cutting and sewing and the geometric shapes. I thought they would appeal to the boys. They made floor cushions. At that time, quilting was not very popular–this was back in 1969 but I was real taken with putting fabrics together. I have been a fabric person since I was a little girl. I love to sew and so it just appealed to me. I kind of discovered quilting at that time and started teaching how to do it but didn’t have that background in my family or anything. It was just more or less something that I discovered on my own.

 [Q]uilting is–I have been very fortunate, it is like my life. I would do it as a hobby. I also do it as a business. I love to teach and see people learn because I have done the teaching and writing of the books. I am sharing ideas and that is really what I love the most about quilting–is what happens with the people and seeing people want to learn and seeing what they do with the fabric and the creativity that happens. That’s really what I love most about quilting.

Lisa EllisTeaching is something that I love to do. I’m finding it a little bit challenging with my schedule. I still have kids at home so teaching is harder to do. The occasional lecture is a little bit easier for me right now. I love teaching and I have taught several different classes. I’m hoping that eventually when I’m an empty-nester teaching is something that I can really get back to. A local quilt shop invited me to teach and I taught for a year and I loved it, but I’m just finding that I really can’t commit right now because I need to be available to my kids at this stage. They are all teenagers now and I need to be home in the afternoons and be available. Teaching is something that I love and I’m passionate about and I look forward to the day when I can make the commitment to teach on a regular basis and maybe even start traveling. As to what I teach. I have a couple of different things. Some technique oriented things and then also I do a Praise Quilt workshop. I’ve done the Praise Quilt Workshop class a few times where I have women that want to learn more about making quilts that are an expression of faith. So we do the anatomy of what makes a Praise Quilt and then I teach techniques. But it is also an opportunity for women to explore how they would like to incorporate what they do into making pieces for their places of worship. I look forward to the day when I can really pursue that and do a lot more teaching.

Kathyanne White: Understand what speaks to you and why, then learn how to express your own ideas in a way no other artist does. Learn to do original work. This comes up in my workshops a lot. I teach workshops and the workshops that I teach encourage all the participants to express their own voice. When you participate in one of my workshops, your work will look like your work, as you participate in the various exercises. I think that learning to develop your own work, learning to stretch your boundaries, all those types of things.

Sarah Luther: Our quilting group was trying to encourage more people to come out and join us so we offered a free beginner’s class and I did the teaching on the quick quilt methods. I enjoyed that because it taught me to prepare ahead and to think about how to discuss the patterns as I was presenting it; sort of like I learned from TV. And I enjoyed it, but I know that I wouldn’t be a professional teacher.

[W]e put it in the Trinity Valley newsletter and we announced it in different places, we put out flyers at different places that said ‘Free Beginning Quilting.’ And we had three or four that came a couple of times but couldn’t keep coming because it’s over about an eight to ten week period. We did about twenty blocks and tried to teach different things, aspects of quilting. The log cabin, it started out with the nine patch and worked up to doing one that was paper piecing and one that was crazy quilt block so I kind of went over a range and I had another lady who had done some appliqué in the group so she taught the class on appliqué. But we really enjoyed it and several of the ones that just came to quilt actually made blocks and put together their own sampler quilt. We all gained from it and enjoyed it… It made me feel important. I’ve never thought that I could. But I planned ahead.

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