Monday, June 25, 2012

On Deck: Whatcom Museum Exhibit


I never thought I'd share anything in common with Huey Lewis. Other than the fact that we both attended New Jersey prep schools in close proximity to one another, but that's hardly having something in common. Our schools are longtime rivals. He's a "Big Red" - actually, I'd call him a "Larry" - and I'm a "Falcon". In other words, he went to The Lawrenceville School, I went to The Peddie School.

Too bad Huey Lewis a bit older than I. He could've been there to watch me representing the Falcons in swimming, when we stomped the Big Red four years in a row during my high school years. But alas, he graduated from L'ville just a year after I was born. Lawrenceville's colors are red and black, and if you go back and look at some of the old Huey Lewis and the News videos, he often wears red and black.

Now, there's a new connection of sorts. The title of one of Huey Lewis' well known pop singles. "It's Hip to be Square" appears on the postcard announcing the upcoming quilt exhibit at the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Washington - and that's my quilt on the postcard! Can we call that "six degrees of separation"? And where does Kevin Bacon come in?

I digress. It's doubtful Huey Lewis would ever see this postcard, but the pop culture reference certainly amuses me, particularly given the rivalry between our high school alma maters. It's also really funny because just recently, I'd posted a link to the video for this song on my Facebook page. No particular reason. It was just because...


See? He's wearing a red shirt with black! (Told ya!). Catchy little tune, but I digress once more.

What I should really talk about is the upcoming quilt exhibit. The flip side of the postcard has some important details.


The exhibit is called "American Quilts: The Decmocratic Art 1780-2007" and is co-curated by Robert Shaw and Julie Silber. That's enough to tell me it's going to be brilliant. The exhibit is the first one based on Shaw's book of the same title. Published in 2009 by Sterling, Shaw's seminal book is one of the most important quilt history titles of the last decade. It's like a quilt history textbook, similar to Rod Kiracofe's "The American Quilt: A History of Cloth and Comfort 1750-1950", and every quilt lover should own copies of both books! 

So, how am I involved with this whole project? One of my quilts, the one on the postcard, is in the exhibit. It's especially an honor because my quilt was not in the book. I'm super jazzed about seeing it on the postcard. It's one of my favorite quilts, purchased several years ago through eBay, from a seller in Virginia, and here it is! The quilt deserves to be a focus of attention. 


There will be special events on August 4th, 5th, and September 15th, so plan ahead. The Olympic Peninsula is glorious during the summer and fall. For more information, click here.

9 comments:

  1. Awesome quilt(and perfect for the cover!)great stories, and as for the 6º...maybe his wife, Kyra Sedgwick collects, or is a quilter...one never knows just what all connects each of us, to the other ;) In any case, this is sure to be a fabulous exhibit! Thanks for the share!

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    1. I think Kevin Bacon and Huey Lewis may be connected through an infamous Jimmy Kimmel video, but this is a family friendly blog, so I won't go there.

      I'm glad this quilt is going to have its moment to shine on a bigger stage. With so many "New York Beauty" quilts in my collection, really some of the best ones ever made, sometimes this quilt gets a little lost in the shuffle. But it truly is one of my favorites. It's also one of the few really great ones I've found on eBay rather than through a dealer, so I feel like I "discovered" it. Glad you enjoyed. :)

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  2. Hard to miss with this quilt, but the postcard graphics are dy-no-mite!
    Am I in the right era?

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    1. LOL, that was Jimmy "JJ" Walker, mid-to-late 70s, "Good Times"...so you're close. Huey Lewis was maybe 10 years later, like senior year in High School (for me), MTV, etc.

      A few things I love about this quilt: the borders - rare, rare, rare - I've never seen another with zig-zags on three sides; the madder red points on green - beautifully shows the difficulty of the piecework; pencil markings where the quilting design is, love, love, love. I always point it out to quilters and tell them it's something collectors love to see. It's a sign of the maker's hand, and also a sign of condition. If it still has those pencil markings, there's a good chance it hasn't been washed often, if at all, and this quilt is very close to its original condition.

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  3. Thanks for the info! I'm hoping to go! I'll be seeing Huey Lewis this summer too! lol

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    1. So cool! I didn't know he was out on the road.

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  4. That is an amazing quilt. I LOVE it!

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  5. Wish I could be there. Sounds just wonderful.

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  6. What a stunning quilt! I wonder how I can wrangle a trip up to WA for this. It sounds marvelous!

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