Friday, September 4, 2015

America, The Beautiful!


This remarkable 1970s United States Map quilt came from Deborah Ursell of San Antonio. Deborah is a great picker with an especially vast knowledge of vintage mass-produced bedding. I keep telling her she should write a book, because what she knows is so valuable and does not exist in a published form. Deborah was the key to the attribution of the Bob Timberlake quilt in my New York Beauty book. She has also sold me several wonderful quilts.


A woman named Faith Thomas made the quilt, and there is a small label at the bottom on the front--somewhere in Mexico. I'm not sure her name made it in to the materials for the show, but it's there if you look; a mass-produced ribbon label, the kind people would have made and later use on their handmade textile creations. She left out Alaska and Hawaii, but we know these spectacular places are also part of America. Every time I look at this quilt, I can't help blurting out, "Party in North Carolina!" (Washington, too. And Oregon should be green.)



The quilt is actually a two-layer spread, backed and tied with no batting. All of the patchwork is raw-edge appliqué secured with a simple machine zig-zag stitch. Being polyester double knit, the fabric has resisted fraying. The whole piece is 90" x 68".


This quilt is part of a select group of domestically-made 1970s quilts, currently on display in  "Modern Materials, Quilts of the 1970s" at the Benton County Museum in Philomath, Oregon. For more information about the exhibition, location, hours,  and other venues showing quilts during Quilt County 2015, click here.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Giveaway Winner!


My "Modern Materials, Quilts of the 1970s" catalogue giveaway is now completed, a random drawing was done, and we have a winner! Lori Dejarnatt of Humble Quilts is the lucky one!! I am very happy Lori's name was drawn because she has regularly gone out of her way to attend my exhibitions and lectures, and was one of my first blog followers.

I ran into Lori at Quilt! Knit! Stitch! last month
Lori and I saw each other recently at Quilt! Knit! Stitch! and talked about some of the crazy stuff going on in our lives. The thing I appreciated about our conversation was we could find moments of humor and light even in the most difficult situations. It was a good thing to remember, because life is sometimes pretty crazy. And so are the quilts of the 1970s.

QuiltCon 2015 in Austin, Texas

The quilts are crazy, vibrant, exuberant, and representative of a very important period in American Quiltmaking. These quilts debuted earlier this year at QuiltCon in Austin, Texas, and I feel lucky to be one of the people who gets to tell everyone else about them. They are now on display in their first museum exhibition at the Benton County Museum in Philomath, Oregon through October 3rd.

Congratulations, Lori Dejarnatt, winner of the giveaway! The "Modern Materials" catalogue is 22 pages, softcover, small square 7" x 7"and is printed in full color. It is available through Blurb in hardcover image wrap, softcover and PDF - for more details, click here.  

Monday, August 31, 2015

Hunter's Design Studio Back to School Blog Hop

Sam Hunter of Hunter's Design Studio is hosting a Blog Hop!

Sam Hunter of Hunter's Design Studio is hosting a "Back to School Blog Hop" and it begins tomorrow! I will be participating in the blog hop later in the month as a guest blogger. It runs through the entire month and into October; and there will be lots of great information. Hop along to get tips and tricks for your quilting and sewing studio from some of our industry's pros...and me. :)

Here's the schedule:

Sept 1: Peta Minerof-Bartos of PetaQuilts – So, Does that Diagonal Method for a Pieced Backing Really Work
Sept 2: Cheryl Sleboda of Muppin.com – The Quilter’s Knot
Sept 3: Teresa Coates of Crinkle Dreams – The Importance of Pressing
Sept 4: Cath Hall of Wombat Quilts – Color Coding for Paper-piecing
Sept 5: Sam Hunter of Hunter’s Design Studio – How to Calculate and Cut Bias Binding
Sept 6: Melanie McNeil of Catbird Quilt Studio – Credit where Credit is Due
Sept 7: Mandy Leins of Mandalei Quilts – How to Keep a Perfect 1/4” Seam Between Different Machines
Sept 8: Rose Hughes of Rose Hughes – Fast Pieced Applique
Sept 9: Megan Dougherty of The Bitchy Stitcher – The Care and Feeding of the Domestic Sewing Machine
Sept 10: Lynn Krawczyk of Smudged Design Studio – Make a Mobile Art Kit
Sept 11: Susan Beal of West Coast Crafty – Log Cabin 101
Sept 12: Sarah Lawson of Sew Sweetness – Zipper Tips
Sept 13: Jane Victoria of Jolly and Delilah – Matching Seams
Sept 14: Jemelia Hilfiger of Je’s Bend – Garment Making Tips and Tricks
Sept 15: Ebony Love of LoveBug Studios – Curved Piecing Without Pins
Sept 16: Misty Cole of Daily Design Wall – Types of Basting
Sept 17: Kim Lapacek of Persimon Dreams – Setting your Seams
Sept 18: Christina Cameli of A Few Scraps – Joining Quilted Pieces by Machine
Sept 19: Bill Volckening of WonkyWorld – The Importance of Labels
Sept 20: Jessica Darling of Jessica Darling – How to Make a Quilt Back
Sept 21: Debbie Kleve Birkebile of Mountain Trail Quilt Treasures – Perfectly Sized No-Wave Quilt Borders
Sept 22: Heather Kinion of Heather K is a Quilter – Baby Quilts for Baby Steps
Sept 23: Michelle Freedman of Design Camp PDX – TNT: Thread, Needle, Tension
Sept 24: Kathy Mathews of Chicago Now Quilting Sewing Creation – Button Holes
Sept 25: Jane Shallala Davidson of Quilt Jane – Corner Triangle Methods
Sept 27: Cristy Fincher of Purple Daisies Quilting – The Power of Glue Basting
Sept 28: Catherine Redford of Catherine Redford – Change the Needle!
Sept 29: Amalia Teresa Parra Morusiewicz of Fun From A to Z – French Knots, – ooh la la!
Sept 30: Victoria Findlay Wolfe of Victoria Findlay Wolfe Quilts – How to Align Your Fabrics for Dog Ears
October 1: Tracy Mooney of 3LittleBrds – Teaching Kiddos to Sew on a Sewing Machine
October 2: Trish Frankland, guest posting on Persimon Dreams – The Straight Stitch Throat Plate
October 3: Flaun Cline of I Plead Quilty – Lining Strips Up
I am honored to be included in the Blog Hop, and will be blogging about the importance of labels. That's a good topic for me. Most of the quilts I collect are not identified by maker and have no label. So, you are invited to follow along and go Back to School. There will be something good to learn each day.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

crazy Crazy Quilt


This crazy Crazy Quilt is one of my favorite 1970s quilts. It is one of the more complex, original designs. People often say it is like an Eye Spy. I agree There are all kinds of things you can find if you keep looking at it, and sometimes you'll spot things you hadn't noticed before.


Eye spy a camel...and I think I know something about the templates the quiltmaker used. :)

Eye spy a gingerbread man!
The quilt came from a seller in Florida. It is 72" x 93" and is made of mixed fabrics including cottons and synthetics. There is a "1776" Liberty Bell patch, something you might have seen in the 1970s around the Bicentennial. It is pieced and appliquéd, with decorative black stitching outlining each patch, and shapes jump out of the crazy patchwork. The whole effect is kaleidoscopic, psychedelic.


The quilt is part of my exhibition, "Modern Materials, Quilts of the 1970s" -- now on display at the Benton County Museum in Philomath, Oregon. For more information about the exhibition, location, hours,  and other venues showing quilts during Quilt County 2015, click here.

Friday, August 28, 2015

September 1st Giveaway - Enter to Win "Modern Materials" Catalogue


There is a catalogue for "Modern Materials, Quilts of the 1970s" and I am giving away a copy. Drawing will be Tuesday, September 1st, and entries are now open.



The catalogue is 22 pages, softcover, small square 7" x 7"and is printed in full color. It is available through Blurb in hardcover image wrap, softcover and PDF - for more details, click here. Enter to win by leaving one comment in the comments section below. A random winner will be drawn on September 1st. Good Luck!

"Happiness is..."


"Happiness is..." was a thing in the 1970s. I think the origin was "Happiness is a Warm Puppy" by Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz.



All we had to do was fill in the blank. Happiness could be anything we wanted. For me, happiness was a big bowl of Cap'n Crunch with Crunchberries and a Hanna-Barbera marathon.


Today, happiness is a vibrant, 1970s pictorial landscape quilt, part of my exhibition "Modern Materials, Quilts of the 1970s" now on display at the Benton County Museum.


The quilt is 68" x 90" and made of cottons. It has initials and a date inscribed in black embroidery, "With Love, JAM '77" and it is tied with black yarn. It came from collector Marjorie Childress of Albuquerque, New Mexico, who discovered it through Goodwill. I couldn't imagine giving away such a wonderful quilt, even if Goodwill is a good cause. The quilt is iconic. It captures the essence of the utopian, free-spirited 1970s.



"Modern Materials, Quilts of the 1970s" is now on display at the Benton County Museum in Philomath, Oregon. For more information about the exhibition, location, hours,  and other venues showing quilts during Quilt County 2015, click here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

"I pledge allegiance to the flag..."


In 1971, I was in kindergarten at the Gould Elementary School in North Caldwell, New Jersey, and each school day began the same way. We all stood, right hands over our hearts, looking at the American Flag above the chalkboard, and we recited the Pledge of Allegiance in unison.


We learned about historical figures such as Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln and Betsy Ross. The significance of the American Flag was clear from the beginning. We were proud to be Americans and we looked forward to the Bicentennial in 1976.


American flag quilts are highly coveted objects in the world of antique quilts. This 13-star American Flag quilt was most likely made around 1976, so it is barely vintage; but I was still surprised nobody else really wanted it when it appeared on eBay a few years ago. There were a few bids, but the final price was only nine dollars. Shipping from Florida cost more than the quilt.


I guess that's how far off the radar 1970s quilts were when I first started collecting them. As time passes and 1970s quilts become more collectible, this quilt's stock will rise. It is machine pieced, hand appliquéd and hand quilted. It is 66" x 77" and is surrounded by a prairie point edge finish. It also includes bright red and blue colors-- not the exact same colors used in actual American flags, but they were popular at the time.


"Modern Materials, Quilts of the 1970s" is now on display at the Benton County Museum in Philomath, Oregon. For more information about the exhibition, location, hours,  and other venues showing quilts during Quilt County 2015, click here.