In Memory of YP

Beloved quilt world legend Yvonne Porcella died on Friday. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends and by so many in the quilt world–her fellow artists, her students, her colleagues at SAQA and the Quilt Alliance.

Yvonne (or YP as many called her) was documented by the Quilt Alliance and its partners via projects like Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories (Q.S.O.S.), Go Tell It at the Quilt Show!, Quilt Treasures and The Quilt Index (see excerpts below). The vibrancy of her work and her spirit were exciting and magnetic, and the YP brand was easy to spot–bright red and/or pink and always a black and white element (be it a quilt binding or a pair of socks, pants
or glasses).
YvonnePorcellaMany of our sister organizations have also documented and honored Yvonne. (Find links to these resources at the end of this post.) In 1989, Yvonne founded the Studio Art Quilt Associates organization and remained committed to its mission until her death. In 1998, she was inducted into the Quilters Hall of Fame in Marion, Indiana. That same year, Yvonne was named the 5th recipient of the Silver Star Award at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas.

Yvonne was very supportive of the Quilt Alliance’s newest project, Go Tell It at the Quilt Show! which debuted in 2012. We recorded two Go Tell It!’s with Yvonne in 2014: the first during SAQA’s 25th anniversary conference in Alexandria, Virginia and the second at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas.

Yvonne’s life and work was documented by the Quilt Treasures project in 2002. Quilt Treasures, a joint project of the Quilt Alliance, Michigan State University Museum and MATRIX Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences, documented the stories of a limited number of notable individuals – quiltmakers, designers, business people, collectors, scholars, publishers – who were instrumental in moving the 20th century quilt revival forward in some significant way.

Yvonne’s Quilt Treasures Web Portrait includes a photo gallery, biography and timeline, and features a Mini Documentary video and Interview clips (below):

Yvonne Porcella Mini-Documentary

Interview clips

 

As a founding board member of the Quilt Alliance, Yvonne contributed to many aspects of the organization’s projects and initiatives, including co-founding the Alliance quilt contest. In 2006, she worked with Karen Musgrave to launch this annual fundraising and documentary effort, and since then, artists from the United States and around the world have created and donated 872 quilts to support the Quilt Alliance. For the past nine  years, Yvonne has made and donated one or more of her own quilts to the contest. Here are those quilts, now documented both on the Quilt Alliance website as well as in The Quilt Index.

 

Yvonne’s struggle with cancer was long and daunting. As a former nurse, she knew her body and her illness with precision. She managed to stay incredibly positive in the face of her prognosis, and maintained a lightness of being and sense of humor that fueled her fight.

Yvonne explaining Quilt Match Manhattan to the crowd at Quilters Take Manhattan 2013.

Yvonne explaining Quilt Match Manhattan to the crowd at Quilters Take Manhattan 2013. She was one of the judges and dressed appropriately in black and white stripes (part of that spunky YP brand).

When Yvonne had to cancel her presentation at the Quilt Alliance’s 2015 Quilters Take Manhattan event, it was not her battle with cancer that prevented her from attending. She called me, laughing, about a week before the event to explain that she had dropped a giant bottle of ketchup on her foot and her doctor wouldn’t let her fly in that condition. She even texted me the photo of her foot as we talked, so we could mock the situation together with proper visual aides.

SG_AmyMilne_YvonnePorcella

Yvonne making me (and anyone within earshot) laugh at Quilters Take Manhattan 2014.

Keeping up with the latest technology, while never losing touch with handwork was a central theme in her optimism and excitement for the future. In this Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories interview conducted on November 29, 1999, Yvonne talks about anticipating the Twentieth Century.

1999QSOS

Q.S.O.S. Interview, Nov. 29, 1999. International Quilt Festival, Houston, Texas.

Interviewer, Jeri Baldwin: What have you done with thinking about the Twentieth Century in your work and your teaching? What do you think you’ll change, or will you want to change, or what do you want to leave the same? What are you going to take into the Twenty-first Century as a quilter and as a teacher?

Yvonne Porcella: I’m still going to take the passion I have for doing it by hand. I’m going to take the passion of creating something totally for myself, that pleases myself, that comes from myself. I am not interested in scanning it on the computer. I am not interested in coloring it on the computer. Because to me the reason I am an artist, which was very difficult for me to even reach that point where that I can verbalize it because I was trained as a nurse. I was trained as a mother, as a grandmother and to be an artist was to say to people, ‘Well, I think I am an artist although I am not academically trained.’ But I have a passion and I know that if I don’t do the work that I’d be unhappy. So for me the twenty-first century will be similar to the twentieth century because I will continue to work until I can no longer work. The wonderful part of being an artist is that the wonderful ideas never stop so the concept of the creativity that will be produced in the–however long I am going to live is very exciting to me.

On behalf of the board, staff and membership of the Quilt Alliance, I want to send my condolences to Yvonne’s family.

Rest in peace, dear friend, colleague and treasure. You inspired us to be our Best.

Please leave your own remembrance of Yvonne below in the comments.

"The Best", 2014, "Inspired By" contest.

“The Best”, 2014, “Inspired By” contest.

Those who would like to make a tax-deductible gift to the Quilt Alliance in Yvonne’s honor can make a secure donation online via credit card or PayPal here:
http://www.allianceforamericanquilts.org/support/donate.php

Or mail a check, payable to Quilt Alliance to:
Quilt Alliance
67 Broadway Street, Suite 200
Asheville, NC 28801

Please indicate “In Honor of Yvonne Porcella” in the memo or description line.
You can contact us here: admin@quiltalliance.org or 828-251-7073

More online resources about Yvonne Porcella:

Studio Art Quilt Associates
Quilters Hall of Fame
The Quilt Show.com
Yvonne Porcella’s website
San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles
Twisted Sister (blog of Jamie Fingal)
Pokey’s Ponderings (blog of Pokey Bolton)
Video interview with Yvonne recorded by Lisa Ellis in November 2015
C&T Publishing

Amy Milne headshot

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

Browsing the Flower Pots.

Flower-themed patterns are this week’s Cruise & Use activity on The Quilt Index. I returned to the  Browse by Pattern Page where I chose Flower Pot.  This browsing category contains 81 records. The Browse by  Pattern page includes more than 200 of the most common patterns and their variations taken mostly from Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns, first edition.

Then I narrowed down my search by selecting six Flower Pot quilts to compare. Next, I clicked on the View Record link under each record’s image to view the Basic record view for each quilt. Click on the images below to find out more about each quilt.

Unknown, Family member – possibly great grandmother. Flower Pot. 1930-1949. From Florida Quilt Project, SunBonnet Sue Quilt Guild. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=53-9E-34. Accessed: 05/6/2015

Day, Judy. Flower Pot in a Cottage Garden. 1999. From National Quilt Museum, Oh Wow! Miniature Quilt Collection. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=1C-3B-F6. Accessed: 05/6/2015

Moody, Johanna Belle. Flower Basket. Circa 1930. From North Carolina Museum of History, North Carolina Quilt Project. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=4B-82-B5A. Accessed: 05/6/2015

flower pot. (Maker not recorded). 1800-1849. From Minnesota Quilters Inc., Minnesota Quilt Project (MQP). Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=49-7E-A2. Accessed: 05/6/2015

Cactus Basket. (Maker not recorded). From Wyoming Quilt Project, Inc., Wyoming Quilt Project, Inc.. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=51-8C-5AE. Accessed: 05/6/2015

Tip: you can easily generate a citation for any image documented in The Quilt Index by clicking on the How to Cite This Record link at the bottom of each record’s basic or full display page. You can then copy and paste the citation, as I’ve done with images below.

Take your own Browse by Pattern adventure on The Quilt Index today!

Click on each image to view these quilts on The Quilt Index to read more about their 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 each quilt.


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

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

April Showers Bring May Flower Baskets

This week’s Cruise & Use activity on The Quilt Index features flower-themed patterns. To start my cruising adventure, I went to the  Browse by Pattern Page where I chose Flower Basket. Initially my browse returned this happy grid view of 325 records:

Then I narrowed down my search by selecting six quilts to compare.

Next, I clicked on the View Record link under each record’s image to view the Basic record view for each quilt. Click on the images below to find out more about each quilt.

Tip: you can easily generate a citation for any image documented in The Quilt Index by clicking on the How to Cite This Record link at the bottom of each record’s basic or full display page. You can then copy and paste the citation, as I’ve done with images below.

Oliver, Nina. Flower Basket. From Louisiana Regional Folklife Program, Louisiana Quilt Documentation Project. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=1B-3A-8C3. Accessed: 05/4/2015

Maker, unknown. Friendship Quilt. 1857-2011. From Massachusetts Quilt Documentation Project – MassQuilts, MassQuilts. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=1D-FC-1150. Accessed: 05/4/2015

Menzies, Sylvia Idella. Flower Basket. c1900. From Michigan State University Museum, Michigan Quilt Project. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=1E-3D-F8. Accessed: 05/4/2015

Wakeman, Jennie. Flower Basket. 1860-1890. From State Historical Society of Iowa, IQRP . Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=18-36-197. Accessed: 05/4/2015

Flower Basket. (Maker not recorded). 1860-1875. From Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin, Winedale Quilt Collection. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=4F-88-6. Accessed: 05/4/2015

Stanley, Lura. Flower Basket quilt, old. September 29, 1978. From American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project Collection. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=22-42-104. Accessed: 05/4/2015

Take your own Browse by Pattern adventure on The Quilt Index today!

Click on each image to view these quilts on The Quilt Index to read more about their 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 each quilt.


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

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

1933 Sears Quilt Contest Entries Documented in The Quilt Index

While doing a Cruise & Use tour of the browsing categories in The Quilt Index this week, I came across one of my favorite quilt collections documented in the Index–the Waldvogel Archival Collection. This is one of the first private collections contributed to The Quilt Index and currently includes 86 records of quilts and quilt-related ephemera. From the collection description page:

Merikay Waldvogel has collected and researched quilts since the mid 1970s. Although she has also written about older quilts, her primary interests are in the 20th century: the 1933 Sears Quilt Contest, Depression Era Quilts, as well as quilt designers, authors and companies that propelled the 20th century quilt styles.

 

Waldvogel became an outspoken advocate for saving quilt ephemera such as quilt catalogs, newspaper columns, batting wrappers, advertisements, contest fliers, etc. when she wrote Soft Covers for Hard Times: Quiltmaking and the Great Depression and Patchwork Souvenirs of the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. The ephemera served as reliable primary sources to authenticate the quilts she was researching.

I found 8 stunning quilts from the Waldvogel Archival Collection, all entries for the Sears Quilt Contest at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, to share with you today. You can find these quilts and more Challenge or Contest Entry quilts by browsing the Index by Purpose/Function.

Tip: you can easily generate a citation for any image documented in The Quilt Index by clicking on the How to Cite This Record link at the bottom of each record’s basic or full display page. Just click this link and copy and paste the citation, as I’ve done with images below.

Longsworth, Jeannette Morgan. Nineteen Hundred Thirty Three. 1933. From Waldvogel Archival Collection, Sears Quilt Contest 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=5B-9D-E. Accessed: 04/29/2015

Matthews, Edith Morrow. The Spectrum. 1933. From Waldvogel Archival Collection, Sears Quilt Contest 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=5B-9D-C. Accessed: 04/29/2015

Rowley, Richard Henry. Bird’s Eye View of the Chicago World’s Fair. 1933. From Waldvogel Archival Collection, Sears Quilt Contest 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=5B-9D-28. Accessed: 04/29/2015

Fitzgerald, Mary O’Halloran. Fort Dearborn Quilt (Green Merit Ribbon). 1933. From Waldvogel Archival Collection, Sears Quilt Contest 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=5B-9D-1F. Accessed: 04/29/2015

Wiegand, Elizabeth M.. I Will. From Waldvogel Archival Collection, Sears Quilt Contest 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=5B-9D-1A. Accessed: 04/29/2015

Fitzgerald, Elizabeth Skelly. Transportation Quilt (Commemorative Quilt-Green Merit Ribbon). 1933. From Waldvogel Archival Collection, Sears Quilt Contest 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=5B-9D-19. Accessed: 04/29/2015

Andres, Emma Mary Martha. Woman Spinning (Green Merit Ribbon). 1933. From Waldvogel Archival Collection, Sears Quilt Contest 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=5B-9D-17. Accessed: 04/29/2015

Wetzel, Olive Thomas. State of Illinois (Commemorative Contest Category). 1933. From Waldvogel Archival Collection, Sears Quilt Contest 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=5B-9D-15. Accessed: 04/29/2015

To start your browsing journey, visit the home page of The Quilt Index, www.QuiltIndex.org, locate the Browse menu at the top and click on Main. You’ll find six different options for browsing:

Click on each image to view these quilts on The Quilt Index to read more about their 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 each quilt.


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

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

Contest Quilts Documented in The Quilt Index

I’d like to continue our Cruise & Use tour of the browsing categories in The Quilt Index this week.

To start your browsing journey, visit the home page of The Quilt Index, www.QuiltIndex.org, locate the Browse menu at the top and click on Main. You’ll find six different options for browsing:

 

This week we’re going to Browse by Purpose/Functon and today’s topic is Challenge or Contest Entry.

 

Here are two of my favs from this category, both entries for the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago, Illinois. Tell us your top picks here on the blog or via the Quilt Index Facebook page.

Tip: you can easily generate a citation for any image documented in The Quilt Index by clicking on the How to Cite This Record link at the bottom of each record’s basic or full display page. Just click this link and copy and paste the citation, as I’ve done with images below.

 

Billick, Helen E.. World’s Fair Building. 1933. From Illinois State Museum, . Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=16-33-159. Accessed: 04/27/2015

 

Carpenter, Lillie Belle Shaffer. Rising Sun. 1933. From Waldvogel Archival Collection, Sears Quilt Contest 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=5B-9D-4. Accessed: 04/27/2015

Click on each image to view these quilts on The Quilt Index to read more about their 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 each quilt.


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

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

Browse the Quilt Index: Doll Quilts/Toys

Whether you are new to the Quilt Index or a passionate power user, this week I’d like to introduce you to a few of the browsing categories set up by Quilt Index staffers.

To start your browsing journey, visit the home page of The Quilt Index, www.QuiltIndex.org, locate the Browse menu at the top and click on Main. You’ll find six different options for browsing:

 

This week we’re going to Browse by Purpose/Functon and today’s topic is Doll Quilt/Toy.

 

Here are five of my favs from this category. Tell us your top picks here on the blog or via the Quilt Index Facebook page.

Tip: you can easily generate a citation for any image documented in The Quilt Index by clicking on the How to Cite This Record link at the bottom of each record’s basic or full display page. Just click this link and copy and paste the citation, as I’ve done with images below.

Log Cabin; String. (Maker not recorded). 1900 – 1930. From Mountain Heritage Center, Southern Appalachian Quilts. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=1F-3E-4. Accessed: 04/23/2015

 

Read, Jennie. Around the World. ca. 1930. From University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island Quilt Documentation Project. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=4D-85-18D. Accessed: 04/23/2015

 

Simonsen, Anna Umbreit. Whole cloth doll quilt. Circa 1880. From Wisconsin Quilt History Project, . Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=42-75-238. Accessed: 04/23/2015

 

Duck and Ducklings. (Maker not recorded). From State Historical Society of Iowa, Mary Barton Collection. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=18-36-72. Accessed: 04/23/2015

 

Gasperik, Mary. What Are Little Girls Made Of?. 1940. From Gasperik Collection, Mary Gasperik Private Collection. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=48-7C-4C. Accessed: 04/23/2015

 

Click on each image to view these quilts on The Quilt Index to read more about their 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 each quilt.


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

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

Browse the Quilt Index: Quilts made for Gifts or Presentations

Whether you are new to the Quilt Index or a passionate power user, this week I’d like to introduce you to a few of the browsing categories set up by Quilt Index staffers.

To start your browsing journey, visit the home page of The Quilt Index, www.QuiltIndex.org, locate the Browse menu at the top and click on Main. You’ll find six different options for browsing:

 

This week we’re going to Browse by Purpose/Functon and today’s topic is Gift or Presentation.

 

Here are three of my favs from this category. Tell us your top picks here on the blog or via the Quilt Index Facebook page.

Tip: you can easily generate a citation for any image documented in The Quilt Index by clicking on the How to Cite This Record link at the bottom of each record’s basic or full display page. Just click this link and copy and paste the citation, as I’ve done with images below.

 

Blutt, Barbara. Christmas Tree Skirt. 2004. From Arizona Quilt Documentation Project, . Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=67-EC-2A. Accessed: 04/22/2015

 

Wilkens, Katherine G.. Big Sleep. 2001. From Louisiana Regional Folklife Program, Louisiana Quilt Documentation Project. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=1B-3A-197. Accessed: 04/22/2015

 

Jannausch, Betty Evelyn. 3-D Dahlia. 4/18/ 1985. From Michigan State University Museum, Michigan Quilt Project. Published in The Quilt Index, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=1E-3D-BDD. Accessed: 04/22/2015

Click on each image to view these quilts on The Quilt Index to read more about their 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 each quilt.


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

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