Saturday, December 31, 2011

Adieu 2011, Welcome 2012!

Hexagon Flowers, c. 1970
Happy New Year! It's the time of year to reflect on the past and look toward the future, and the future looks bright! I know it's been a rough year for a lot of people, and I almost feel guilty saying how good a year it was for me, but I think I earned it.
1970s Polyester Bowties
On the heels of the Small Wonders, Timeless Quilts, and Beauty Secrets exhibits, I'm working on an exhibit of 1970s quilts to be displayed here in Portland in 2013. I expect this exhibit to stir the pot, because it will challenge viewers to see objects made of lowly, double-knit polyester as works of art.

Coincidentally, Roderick Kiracofe will soon release his new book, which will examine quilts from the mid century forward and will include 1970s quilts. We've both gotten a peek at each other's quilts through Facebook, and I'm excited. It's the perfect time for something new!!

"Rocky Mountain" aka "New York Beauty, c. 1870
There will still be time for something "old" in 2012, namely my collection of "New York Beauty" quilts...though I expect these quilts will be a part of something new in the new year and beyond. Plans are still in the works, but I'm aiming toward bring them to Lincoln, Nebraska, for the American Quilt Study Group Seminar, and I'm having discussions about future venues for the "Beauty Secrets" exhibit. Meanwhile, I'm still collecting these quilts. Now I have 50 of them!

This and the other "New York Beauty" were acquired after
Beauty Secrets was published
Coinciding with all the planning will be more documentation. The Oregon Quilt Project is soon going to get underway again, and I'll be helping to train the local volunteer group in Eugene to do photography, while making more information available online for groups around the state. I will also be documenting my own collection, and plan to include it in The Quilt Index. Busy, busy, busy - but it's a good busy! I wish all my readers much joy, good health and prosperity in 2012. Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Deck the Halls

A couple years ago I had Christmas at my home. It was a quiet time, just my mother and I, but the house was festively decorated with quilts. I was thinking about the idea of decorating with quilts recently because The Quilt Complex had a New York Beauty once owned by Phyllis George, which I am soon adding to my collection. George's book, Living With Quilts, is unique in its presentation of quilts as objects to be enjoyed around the home, and not just on beds.

When decorating for Christmas, the theme was red, white and green, but I bent the rules slightly to include an 1830s Sunburst Diamonds quilt with madders, browns, double pink and butterscotch. It looked marvelous in the front foyer.

Upstairs in the loft, I had a dazzling red and white Mariner's Compass from the 1840s, made in Burlington County, New Jersey - near where our family once lived.

I was in Maine for Christmas this year, so I didn't decorate the house. Maybe next year I'll deck the halls once more. Happy New Year!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

...and the winner is...

Tumbling Bloxfords De Luxe - my best selling shoe
This year's Blog Hop Party - the 4th virtual assembly of quilt bloggers from around the world, all hosting wonderful give-aways - was a first for me. I'd never offered a give-away, and my involvement with mostly antique and vintage quilts wouldn't necessarily lend itself to the traditional give-away. But just before the Blog Hop Party was to begin, I began to design some Willy Wonky brand merchandise, and that included shoes.

Pat's Flats are named in honor of Pat Sloan
When I learned about the Blog Hop Party, I wanted to give away a pair of shoes. I had no idea how popular the shoes would be, even though in my heart I felt quilt lovers would enjoy them. Giving away a pair of these shoes turned out to be much more exciting than I'd realized. Who would win? And which shoes would the winner pick?

Yorks - one of several selections for guys
The blog announcing the give-away easily sailed to the top of my list of most viewed blogs, replacing the long-time #1 Separated at Birth: My Virtual AGSG Poster Presentation in the top spot. The number of comments was overwhelming. There were 202 comments during the drawing period - by far a record for my blog. Most gratifying of all was how favorable all the comments were. There would've been over 400 comments if I could've thanked each and every person whose comments made me smile. Thank you, readers and fellow quilt bloggers!

Sunnysides will bring a smile to everyone's face
Judging by the comments, it seems there are a lot of people who will be disappointed they didn't win. If you did not win the drawing, I hope you'll still consider getting your own pair of Willy Wonky shoes. There are currently 71 styles to choose from. Click here to visit the Wonkyworld shop.

So, on to the winner of the drawing. A random number was drawn using, and the lucky winner is...COOL CATS AND QUILTS - Gerri Richards of Rothesay, New Brunswick, Canada! An e-mail has been sent to the lucky winner. Many, many thanks to all who participated!!

A Year of Memorable Moments

July: Lucy Mingo signs her quilt 33 years after she made it.
Many, many memorable moments in 2011 - from Lucy Mingo signing her quilt, to the moment I saw Beauty Secrets hanging at the Benton County Museum. Really, I'm speechless. Here are some of my favorite memorable moments from 2011.

January: Small Wonders catalog officially released
February: Small Wonders on display at Latimer Quilt and Textile Center
March: Jo Barry & friends win viewer's choice at the NW Quilters Show
April: the quilt that made me weep, by Andrea Balosky
April: a diminutive Amish crib quilt got a lot of attention in Paducah
May: Beauty Secrets catalog underway
June: Antiques Roadshow comes to Eugene
July: Lucy Mingo and friends sign her quilt in Sisters
Lucy Mingo's quilt, Bible Story, 1979
July: Old Quilts lecture at Sisters
July: Little Boo was strangely attracted to this quilt. I was pinning a sleeve
August: eight quilts, including this Airplanes quilt, sell on eBay
August: Beauty Secrets installation day
September: Treasures in the Trunk, curated by Mary Bywater Cross
September: 20 antique quilts on display at the NW Quilting Expo
September: I catch 1970s fever
October: I morph into Willy Wonky and work to launch the new web site
November: Janis Pearson gives me a quilt she made in 1972
November: Mottainai exhibit at the Japanese Garden
December: I discover Zazzle and start designing shoes and gifts

Wow! What a year!! I can't believe it's coming to a close, but I'm already looking forward to another great year in 2012. Happy Holidays!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Year of Collecting

Star Medallion, c. 1800, unknown maker, Rhode Island
What a wonderful year it's been for collecting quilts. There's not much more I can say, but I thought I'd repost some of my favorites. Here are 20 great ones I acquired in 2011.

Mountain Mist New York Beauty, c. 1930
Crossroads, c. 1870, Texas
"New York Beauty" c. 1870 by Florence Caldonia Corley Shealy, SC
1970s double knit polyester quilt, unknown maker
"A Star in the Garden" 2010 by Mary Kerr
Wool Crazy Quilt Top, c. 1900
Original design from Washington, 1970s
Crazy Block Sampler, c. 1900, Michigan
Robbing Peter to Pay Paul, c. 1830, New England
Nine Patch quilt top, c. 1840, eastern United States
New York Beauty, c. 1940
Whilecloth Chintz quilt, c. 1820, eastern United States
Barn Raising Log Cabin, c. 1940, Ohio
American Flag quilt, 1976, Florida
Houses, c. 1975
Unknown Design in double knit polyester, c. 1975
The Thrifty Wife, c. 1900, Wisconsin
Stars, 1972, by Janis Pearson, Oregon
Album Sampler, 1870, Pennsylvania
There were others, but I think the point is clear. It's been an incredible year for collecting, and if I'm not careful I'll need a much bigger house for all the quilts. Hope you enjoyed the show!!