Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Loaning Quilts

My Franklin Stars Quilt
I like to think I am generous when it comes to loaning and sharing my quilts.  Although, some might say I am not when it comes to sharing photos.  It is all personal choice.

This quilt, Franklin Stars is currently on loan at my cities community center.

They have a rotating quilt every month to share with the community.  I chose this one because I think it appeals to men and women.

It also reminds me of my friend Jeananne - who owns the original.  She is very generous sharing her quilts.

The more you look at this quilt, the more you might find...unusual today by modern standards.
* Bordered on only two sides
* Even scrappier as it gets towards the bottom rows
* Inset setting diamonds, rather than pieced triangles
* Wide back to front binding
* Home dyed osnaburg backing
The more you look, the more you see...
It was a fun project to do with Jeananne and we both came away with quilts we love!
She purchased the vintage quilt in Franklin, Tennessee years ago.

I also loaned this quilt for the Minnesota Quilt Project "Ruby Anniversary" exhibit at the Minnesota Quilt Show this month.

They are very organized and professional with their paperwork regarding loans and insurance.  Must be the 40 years of experience!

See the circle? I pinned a ribbon on so viewers could see the date in the quilting.

I have been able to read the year, 1888.

However I have not been able to make out the letters above the year.  I used photoshop and other tools to no avail.

I am guessing it is her name or the month.

This is the alternate block without the lettering.

Beautiful hand quilting.

All hand sewn - piecing and quilting.


The name comes from Brackman's Encyclopedia of pieced blocks.

The block has other names in later eras.  No Wonder.

Imagine the conversation..."I made the wandering lover quilt for..."

Always a fun quilt to share.

On the subject of sharing, I recently declined to share my quilt and sewing tools. It was a great opportunity to review my insurance and network with others who share their collections.

In the paperwork I received I noted the following clause:
Hold Harmless Statement: I agree to enter the above item and abide by the quilt exhibit rules and decisions of the jury. I understand the XYZ Museum will take every precaution to protect the entry exhibited and that no responsibility for loss of damage to my entry can be assumed by the XYZ Museum or any other entity.

This was highly unusual - I've seen a lot of agreements for shows and exhibits.  I contacted my insurance companies.  Both my home owners and a specialty company for collections.  Both saw HUGE red flags.  Both said by agreeing to a hold harmless I would not be covered, regardless of the policies or appraisals.  One said if I were desperate I could exhibit but wouldn't be insured.  The other offered a special policy but the museum would have to provide their loss report and I would have to pay a large premium.  Not worth the hassle or expense. I declined exhibit. 

I thought about it - and contacted my "network" of quilt appraisers, lawyers, collectors and exhibitors - maybe I need new insurance?  Is this a new trend?


All responded (graciously with long responses) that this is highly unusual and they wouldn't loan under a hold harmless either.

The other thing I learned from my insurance discussions is in the event of damage to one of my quilts, I still want the quilt.  That isn't always possible.  It pays to ask lots of detailed questions!

Bottom line:
* Review the paperwork you sign and do not trust the borrower to look out for your interests

* Talk to your insurance company with the details

* An appraisal doesn't mean you are covered

Let's keep loaning our quilts, and expect them to be treated and like the works of art they are!

Have a great week,

Monday, May 21, 2018

Pennsylvania 2018

Part of Boat House Row
I just completed my annual whirlwind trip to Pennsylvania.  My son used to row crew in the summers for the Penn Athletic Club on the Schuykill. After his career changed, I kept going adjusting the dates to textile activities.
While the Philadelphia airport and car rentals leave a lot to be desired - the city and surrounding areas make up for it.

After arrival I only had about a half day left for shopping, but I made the most of it.

This was an interesting button cabinet.
The drawers slid open from the back. All customers could see were the samples on the front.  The button cards were replacements, all the rest was original.
If you enlarge the photo, I think you can see the claim, "Either Side The Right Side - Both Sides The Same"

It is all metal.

I saw lots of tempting display cases and small counter display units.

I can always count on seeing lots of dolls and clothing.

This dealer also has lots of interesting trims and accessories.

I bought a small silk reticule I will share on a future post.

The samplers are always tempting. 
This one is quite large, but still colorful.

Cross Stitched on canvas
Some small losses in the threads

I love tiger maple and the grain on this doll bed
is spectacular. Unfortunately I pledged before I left - no 
more doll beds. Stay tuned to see if that pledge worked!

There were ample temptations in 
antique quilts.  This example was entirely hand stitched.

Day 2, I met up with Ann Hermes - 
Notes From The Quilt Lab
(On Instagram and Facebook)
We had a great time - I took fewer photos.

Even the buildings are fun.

Beautiful burl maple cabinet.
Finely made - Possibly original hardware.

Irish Crochet Ladies Reticule
Silk ribbon drawstring top

While we shopped the dealers were setting up 
at Penn Dry Goods Market.  They posted temptations like this
to Facebook.

Did I mention saw a lot of quilts?

In fact, there were racks and piles of quilts!

The next day we also shopped.

I made many purchases I will get posted.
Ann posted hers - so look for her on Instagram and FB
for great photos.

Vibrant Orange - my photo looks gold
Fantastic Quilt!

I decided to buy another suitcase rather 
than pack and ship a box home.

Rosewood sewing box
Chrome yellow paper lining
Mother of pearl heart inlays

The next day was the Penn Dry Goods Market
It is two days of solid Lectures and shopping - 
you determine your own schedule.
I started the day with Linda Baumgarten and quilts
from Colonial Williamsburg.

Then I shopped the vendors for an hour.
Yes, I did find treasures - some from that case I 
showed you above.
Then it was back to the lecture room.

Beverley Evans shared her private collection
of Virginia quilts and asked for input. 
She is writing a book so we can't share much.
The quilting is this example is wonderful.

Fringe Detail
Evans Collection

Lunch was on site and I did some more shopping.
In the afternoon I attended a lecture by Lynn Tinley, Adjunct Professor,
American History at Oglethorpe University
"Frolicking People and Fantastic Bands: 18th Century Rhode Island Samplers"
Some of THE MOST beautiful samplers

Then, because we needed to see more quilts...

A group of us went to Ann's to see her enchanted home!
She shared a portion of her quilts - maybe 50 crib quilts.
All delightful.
You can see Ann's reproduction needle work in many
current quilt publications.

The Schwenkfelder Gallery had a beautiful exhibit of samplers

The next day I attended a lecture by dealer and scholar Bill Subject.
His topic was missionary samplers.
See an example HERE.
(Scroll down to Dwight Mission Sampler)

I shopped some more

Velvet Cap Pincushion

Two more lectures

American Quilts in the National Collection - Madelyn Shaw
See online photos HERE.

Dressing For The Heat - 18th Century Summer Clothing
Neal Hurst, Associate Curator of Costume and Textiles 
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
See Colonial Williamsburg Quilts HERE.
Clothing HERE

All too soon it was time to say goodbye!
I hope you enjoyed the post, if so do you have a favorite photos?

Happy Travels,

Friday, May 11, 2018

Needlework Guild of Minnesota

This week I spoke at the Needlework guild of Minnesota.  I have another presentation for them later in the month.  They are a wonderful group, "Our mission is to foster the highest standard of excellence in the practice of needlework through programs of education and study."

I presented a history of girlhood sewing and brought many examples to share.  I setup in advance so attendees have time to look at the examples before and after the PowerPoint slides.  I also bring magnifying glasses so stitching can be closely examined.

I had so much fun I only took one photo!  Busy talking!

At the end of the table is a quilt, made by a girl aged 8. Also included were samplers, mending examples, sewing school lessons, books and a little table top box loom.

Lesson 5
Here are some close ups.
This is a mending sample for holes from a school lesson.  The more solid ares were holes in the fabric.

The girls had to use high contrasting thread so they could see their stitches and so the teacher could see to grade their work.

Clothing was precious and holes were mended to extend their life.

Darned ares in wool - Lesson Example

This is mending on a long tear in wool.  Can you find it in the mending threads?

Again high contrast threads are used in the lesson.

You can imagine a girl saying, "My life has been one long sewing lesson"

Plain sewing wasn't always fun or a desired activity.  Not all girls were willing participants.

Sorry to say, we don't know who F.V. was.
She did lovely work and I'm happy to own her final sampler.  It is one of many pieces I bring with the lecture and trunk show.

Dated Example
Cross stitch


Marking Practice Piece

Girls were also taught to mark their linens. For this they used high contrast colors on purpose.
After working on school sewing samples they were ready to mark linens in their home and perhaps to build their trousseau/hope chest.

The year wasn't always included. Sometimes a number for household inventory purposes was used.
Sometimes the letters were formed by counting the even weave of the linen ground.  Other times they used coarse buckram or waste canvas over the ground fabric. The grid was removed when the stitching was completed.

4" Apron

Quarter sized garments were sewn as samples.  These are sometimes mistaken for doll clothing.

This small apron includes plain and fancy stitching.

While it might appear machine stitched, it is all hand sewn.

L.W. was a developing wonderful needlework skills.

Sampler stitched on perforated paper

This is the date on a school girl sampler.

Stitched on perforated paper and date 1852, it includes her name.

I was able to get lots of information on her and her life in Missouri and Colorado.

Before doing conservation framing, I took photos of the back. They are vibrant rich red and green threads with many other colors.

When did you do your first needlework?
Happy Stitching,

Contact me if your guild or sewing group is interested in a program.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Blue Valley Quilters - Kansas

BJ's Blooming Dogwood
I had a great time with the Blue Valley Quilters Guild in Kansas.

I opted to drive so I could take more quilts.

It was a lovely drive, the further south I went, the more green I saw. There were red buds blooming amongst the lime green on spring tree buds.

I listened to an audio book and before you know it, I was there!

On arrival I was greeted with a warm welcome.
I met the guild board and we enjoyed delicious grilled steak dinner and all the trimmings.

Before I headed off to my hotel, I toured the colorful gardens of my hostess.

The flowers, trees and shrubs have the look of a master gardener at work.

I riot of color in the sea of green grass.

The hotel was newly opened and surrounded by wonderful restaurants and shopping.

After unloading all the bags (insurance doesn't allow them to be left in the car at night), I turned in for a peaceful nights rest.

The guild meets in the morning, so I was up bright and early.

Wagon Loads of Quit Guild Supplies

When I parked, I was greeted by several ladies unpacking their cars into these wonderful (and large) wagons.  I think there was a line of at least 15 wagons entering the building.

The wagons contain all the materials for numerous programs the guild supports; Quilts of Valor, Library, Charm & Block Exchanges, Sit & Sew, Programs, Charity Quilts, Quilt Show, New Member Support, Safe Home, UFO, Challenge (Plus + this year) and more!

Quilts waiting to be shown

The quilts for my program were lined up in chronological order, spanning 200 years of hexagon quilts. A few were hanging around the room on stands.

After the program, attendees could come up and look at the folded quilts on the table.
Speaking to the Guild

As I spoke about the quilts, volunteers held them up. Thank you volunteers!!

The Blue Valley Quilters Guild is a large active guild.  Some of my readers are not from the US, so I will explain the church and how the meetings are held.
In the USA, quilt guilds often rent space from schools, churches, libraries and other large facilities to hold their meetings, lectures and workshops. It this case, the meeting was held in the church common area, where there was  a small stage.

Waving hello to the guild

The meeting starts with all of the orders of business... announcements, committees reports, news etc.
Next is show and tell, where attendees bring their recent finishes to share with the group. They line up along the side of the room and take turns standing at the front, with the microphone, and tell about their quilt.
Next is break time - coffee, baked goods, lots of visiting all the committee tables, shopping and networking.

After my lecture and trunk show we packed up the quilts, re-arranged the tables, had lunch and unpacked the workshop supplies.

I forgot to get pictures until class was over!

This is Millie, who does very beautiful work.
She was one of several guests at the meeting.
The class was great and I'm looking forward to seeing their finished projects.

Now I'm home - to the tiniest tips of tulips, just starting. Quite a contrast to the lush Kansas gardens.
Looks like there will be no tulip blooms in my yard for Mother's Day this year.

Thank you again Blue Valley Quilters Guild, BJ's attention to detail and all of the enthusiastic guild attendees.

Have a great week!

Send me a note if your guild or shop is interested in booking a program with me.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Chicago Quilt Festival

I had a great time last weekend at The Chicago Quilt Festival.  It is smaller than Houston, but so easy to drive to.

I took lots of phone photos, I hope you can see the details.

One of the highlights was a special exhibit by Cindy Rennells, of Cindy's Antique Quilts.

She featured several antique quilts using star blocks.

The green in this one was a beautiful shade.

Hand pieced and hand quilted, the alternated blocks were a glazed bird chintz.

Bird Chintz with Star Blocks
Brown Setting Triangles
Green Binding

Some examples of the bird chintz in the alternating blocks:

The indigo quilt has expertly pieced with basic quilting - a stunning classic.
16 blocks and a HST Border


Check Out The Last Row

Lower Right Corner Block

Love the Pink and Blue

Clasped Hands
The center block of these stars is
appliqué of two clasped hands

Gloved hands maybe?

So many more great quilts in the exhibit, only
a few posted here.  Thank You Cindy!!

This was one of my favorite hand quilted quilts.
Elegant in all white.


Yes, it had a well deserved ribbon!
Beautiful hand quilting, crowded area so hard to 
get photos.

Cynthia Collier had a quilt in the Traditional
Her broderie perse and quilt as you go
method is beautiful.

How many of you started a little house quilt
with Jeanneke?
I did.
My plan is to make a house to represent 
every home I have lived in.
Still a WIP....

Machine Quilted houses
Selective Cut fabrics

Hand Quilted Center

Sue Spargo had a special exhibit with so many quilts I lost track.
The layers of wool, embroidery and embellishments are impressive.
She drew quite a crowd, she did three gallery talks.

Just a couple examples from the numerous
quilts in the special exhibit.

What did I buy?
Another Cutterz ring.
Of course my friend and I got the bling models
Handy for air travel.
I need some practice because I am still getting
a bit more fuzz at the thread end than I like.
They are a Shark Tank business - FUN!

Test Batch

Then there was an ice and snow storm!
Ice in the North Chicago suburbs where I stayed.
At home, they ended up with 22" of snow.
Fortunately, I was staying with good friends and we made the
best of the day hand sewing and - baking pretzels!

Sandy O was the winner of the magazine, I notified her and have not heard back. If I don't hear from her next week I will draw again.

I hope you enjoyed the Chicago Quilt Festival photos.

Have a great week,