Friday, March 10, 2017

Wow!

Yesterday I had an errand in Aurora, Oregon. There's a man who repairs lamps, and I had a vintage tramp art popsicle stick lamp that needed rewiring. I wanted to fix it then sell it, since it had been sitting in a box in the garage for a decade or more. When I brought it in, he said it would be ready in 15 minutes if I wanted to walk around to the antique shops for a little while. So that's what I did.


The first shop was nice. I'd been there before. It is one of the nicer shops in Aurora and has the feel of a New England antiques shop, but I didn't spend much time there. Did a quick walk-through, and nothing jumped out.


The second shop, Time After Time, was also nice. I'd been there before, too, but didn't realize until I got the card it was called "The Ladies Shop" and a Ladies gift shop. That was amusing. There's really something for everyone. When I talked to the Proprietress, Karen Townsend, she was very friendly and said the person who did all the buying for the shop was a man. So, gentlemen, no need to be afraid. It's a neat little antique shop, worth the return visit.


In the first room to one side I found a small pile of quilts. That's where I found this thrilling black and white masterpiece 1970s quilt. I had to do a double take. In 30-years of collecting I'd never seen anything quite like it. Black and white quilts are scarce, and it was a pattern I hadn't seen before. It was like an OpArt painting, but it was a quilt. When I peeked at other parts of the quilt, there was an inscription: "Barbara Mc Kie '74." At that moment, right there in the quaint little antiques shop for ladies, my jaw was on the floor. I was utterly speechless.


Of course, I snatched it up quickly, hugging it tightly as I darted over to the register. As soon as I posted a photo on Facebook and Instagram, people were asking if it was the same Barbara McKie who they knew from SAQA. I didn't know, but soon found out. She had a web site, so I sent a note and soon heard back. Same Barbara McKie, award winning quiltmaker who currently makes art quilts, wearable art, and beaded jewelry. The web site also includes the sculpture of her husband, James Edward McKie, Jr. 

A pair of artists, how fabulous!!


"It was so long ago, I actually forgot where it went," she said in the e-mail. "That was back when I was making quilts that today would be called Mid-Century Modern." She also said it had appeared in a magazine, so I'll be on the lookout for it. If anyone out there can find the magazine, I would love to see it. All part of the history of this amazing quilt. 


By the way, it is 80" x 94", made of cotton and machine pieced with hand appliqued circles, machine quilting and the wonderful, bold hand embroidered inscription. It has a totally mod, "Spy vs. Spy" thing going on. I can't wait to hear the whole story behind the inspiration and the pattern. 




And I still can't believe the luck I have finding quilts. At the same time, I feel very connected with their makers. We're on the same wavelength, so to speak.


When I left Time After Time, I went back to the lamp shop. My lamp was ready. It must've been my lucky day. The man who fixed it offered to buy it, and I was happy to sell it to him. I didn't have to pay for the repair, and walked out with a pocketful of cash.
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17 comments:

  1. You should have bought a lottery ticket your day was going so well! That quilt is stunning!

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  2. How exciting for you and for Barbara. It is always nice to connect with an older piece. Thanks for saving it and making that connection.

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  3. A stunning quilt. Barb is not only a rare talent, she's an amazing friend.

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  4. Wow!!! What a find! Love that quilt!!! Looks Art Deco to me!!! Yes you should have bought a lottery ticket!!!!

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  5. You seem to make amazing discoveries without looking, but I think a lot of it is just that you have the patience to always be looking and recognize something special when you see it. I love the image of you clutching it close and running to the register to pay before someone else could stop you!

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  6. It was your lucky day and ours too! Thanks for sharing your wonderful finds.

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  7. That is lovely, I love that black and white pattern! Great story too!!

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  8. I love this, Bill!! For 90 reasons! :D

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  9. What a great story—and Spy vs. Spy is a perfect comparison. Made me laugh.

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  10. That is lovely!It was your lucky day.

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  11. WoW! This quilt spells WoW! Great find!

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  12. What a beautiful story. I love the quilt, too, but the story touches my soul.

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