Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Where have I seen that quilt before? (7)

Bible Story, 1979, by Lucy Mingo of Gee's Bend, Alabama
The French expression "deja vu" translates to "already seen" and is meant to express the uncanny feeling of recollection. Sometimes people look at the quilts in my collection and think, "Deja vu!" Chances are, they have already seen the quilts...but where? 



When you do a Google search for images of a Gee's Bend quilt, one of the first images to come up is a predominately red, white and blue quilt with yellow and green made by Lucy Mingo. The quilt is part of my collection.



I blogged about it here at Wonkyworld, and as part of the Guest Blogger Series for "Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics" in 2012. Click here to read more about it.


Lucy Mingo is among the most impressive quiltmakers from Gee's Bend, also known as Boykin, Alabama. Her story appears in The Freedom Quilting Bee: Folk Art and the Civil Rights Movement by Nancy Callahan.


Lucy's quilt also appears as part of The Quilts of Gee's Bend entry on Wikipedia. I shared several photos of quilts using the Wikimedia Commons. If you surf through the Wikipedia quilting pages, you may see some of the others.

The best part about having a quilt collection is sharing the quilts, even if it seems like oversharing. People worry about oversharing in 2018. It's a thing. I never worry about it with old quilts. I want everyone to see them, even if some folks saw them before. The quilts may be old, but it never gets old looking at them.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Where have I seen that quilt before? (6)

The French expression "deja vu" translates to "already seen" and is meant to express the uncanny feeling of recollection. Sometimes people look at the quilts in my collection and think, "Deja vu!" Chances are, they have already seen the quilts...but where? 



Does this colorful scrappy Hawaiian "Fans" quilt look familiar? Where have we seen it before? It was once part of the collection of Eli Leon, who passed away earlier this year. It appeared in Roderick Kiracofe's book, "Unconventional & Unexpected: American Quilts Below the Radar, 1950-2000" (page 134).



I bought the quilt from Roderick Kiracofe three years ago, and here's what I had to say about it at the time:


The quilt is attributed to Lori Apo. It is 72" x 90" and is thought to have been made in Hawaii or California (I'm betting on Hawaii) in the 1970 to 1980 period (I'm betting 1970 - it just has that look). It has lots of great Hawaiian fabrics, including the back fabric, with its surfers, hula girls and palm trees.



I am still betting the quilt was made in Hawaii, but even if it was made in California, it was made with Hawaiian scraps. That's what makes it a Hawaiian scrap quilt. It was exhibited at Latimer Quilt & Textile Center as part of a group of Hawaiian scrap quilts a few years ago, and I'm sure it's not the last time we will see this quilt.

The best part about having a quilt collection is sharing the quilts, even if it seems like oversharing. People worry about oversharing in 2018. It's a thing. I never worry about it with old quilts. I want everyone to see them, even if some folks saw them before. The quilts may be old, but it never gets old looking at them.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Where have I seen that quilt before? (5)


The French expression "deja vu" translates to "already seen" and is meant to express the uncanny feeling of recollection. Sometimes people look at the quilts in my collection and think, "Deja vu!" Chances are, they have already seen the quilts...but where? 



This marvelous, modern looking 1870s applique quilt was once part of the Sandra Mitchell collection. Years later, it was part of Shelly Zegart's collection, then it went to a private collector in Texas who had it for a brief period and later consigned it with The Quilt Complex in California.



The first time I remember seeing the quilt was in The Quilt Digest 4, published in 1986 by Roderick Kiracofe and Michael Kile. It was part of an article about collector and dealer Sandra Mitchell (pp. 76-85). A lot of people saw The Quilt Digest during its five year run, and many more discovered it later. 



When I saw the quilt for sale by Shelly Zegart more than ten years ago, I wanted it but another collector bought it before I could scrape together the funds. The collector consigned it with The Quilt Complex in 2011, and that's when I bought it. 



I displayed it once in a small show here in Oregon, "Airing of the Quilts" at the Milwaukie Center when I was the featured guest at their annual show 2 & 1/2 years ago. Otherwise, it has been in a safe place, away from extreme temperatures and out of the light. 


Today, it is one of the quilts in the news book "Inspired Free Motion Quilting: 90 Antique Designs Reinterpreted for Today's Quilter" (2018, C&T/Stash Books). Even if you have not seen this quilt before, you may see it in the future.

The best part about having a quilt collection is sharing the quilts, even if it seems like oversharing. People worry about oversharing in 2018. It's a thing. I never worry about it with old quilts. I want everyone to see them, even if some folks saw them before. The quilts may be old, but it never gets old looking at them.
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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Where have I seen that quilt before? (4)


The French expression "deja vu" translates to "already seen" and is meant to express the uncanny feeling of recollection. Sometimes people look at the quilts in my collection and think, "Deja vu!" Chances are, they have already seen the quilts...but where? 




This 1970s polyester quilt from Georgia first appeared in a special exhibit at the 2015 edition of QuiltCon in Austin, Texas. 



At the time, it was included in an article about 1970s quilts in Quilters Newsletter, and in QuiltCon Magazine.


Quilters Newsletter article, 2015
QuiltCon Magazine 2015
It also appeared in the recent release, "Modern Quilts: Designs of the New Century" and the traveling exhibition, which was displayed at the Schweinfurth Arts Center and the Dairy Barn Arts Center in 2018.



Before the quilt came to my collection, it was for sale online and nobody really knew about it. Now, it's a quilt a lot of people have seen, even if they cannot remember where they saw it before.  

The best part about having a quilt collection is sharing the quilts, even if it seems like oversharing. People worry about oversharing in 2018. It's a thing. I never worry about it with old quilts. I want everyone to see them, even if some folks saw them before. The quilts may be old, but it never gets old looking at them.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Where have I seen that quilt before? (3)

The French expression "deja vu" translates to "already seen" and is meant to express the uncanny feeling of recollection. Sometimes people look at the quilts in my collection and think, "Deja vu!" Chances are, they have already seen the quilts...but where? 



It's interesting to retrace the path of this quilt since it's been part of my collection. The first time I saw this outstanding 19th century pieced quilt, it was for sale on Shelly Zegart's web site. I bought it, but there was one condition-- it was scheduled to be included in a three-part exhibition of quilts in New York City. 



The exhibition, called "Heritage of Genius: American Master Quilts Past and Present" appeared in three Durst buildings in midtown Manhattan just weeks after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. 



Two quilts from my collection were part of the exhibition. The other one was featured on the cover of the catalogue. The "New York Beauty" quilts in the exhibition were described as a quilting love letter to the people of New York. Around the same time, both quilts were also included in the Northwest Quilters Show in Portland.


2011 exhibition at the Benton County Museum
In 2003, the quilt appeared in "Master Quilts Past and Present: Preserving the Voice of America's Quiltmakers" at the Grinnell College Faulconer Gallery. In 2011, it was part of an exhibition with 21 quilts at the Benton County Museum in Philomath, Oregon. It was the first public display of the quilts as a group, and drew record numbers of visitors to the museum.

2013 exhibition at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles
In 2013, the quilt was part of another exhibition with 42 quilts at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles. In 2015, it was part of a 50-quilt exhibition at Pour l'Amour du Fil in Nantes, France. 



That event was like a big party celebrating my first book, "New York Beauty, Quilts from the Volckening Collection" published by Quiltmania in France. The quilt was hanging behind me when I signed books. It was on the cover of the book and on the event bags.




In 2016, it was part of an exhibition at the Texas Quilt Museum in La Grange, Texas. The exhibition occupied the main gallery of the museum and was hanging during the International Quilt Festival in Houston. 



I'm sure the quilt turned up in other places I do not recall at the moment, but it was published in at least one magazine article. It was in a feature I wrote for American Quilter Magazine ("Kentucky Beauties" July 2014). 



Where have you seen that quilt before? Everywhere! Maybe that means my job is done. The quilt is like a celebrity, and I'm its manager. It has fans. It poses for the paparazzi but never signs autographs. People recognize it when they see it, even if they have to ask, "Where have I seen that quilt before?"

The best part about having a quilt collection is sharing the quilts, even if it seems like oversharing. People worry about oversharing in 2018. It's a thing. I never worry about it with old quilts. I want everyone to see them, even if some folks saw them before. The quilts may be old, but it never gets old looking at them.

Where have I seen that quilt before? (2)


The French expression "deja vu" translates to "already seen" and is meant to express the uncanny feeling of recollection. Sometimes people look at the quilts in my collection and think, "Deja vu!" Chances are, they have already seen the quilts...but where? 

Perhaps you saw it at a library or a book store. Maybe you saw it in a museum or a magazine. This dazzling, 1920s velvet "Fans" quilt from New York is such a head-turner, and it famously appeared on the cover of "American Quilts: The Democratic Art, 1780-2007" by Robert Shaw. 



It also appeared in the second, updated edition of the book and the 2012 exhibition at the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Washington.



New York quilt dealer Laura Fisher owned the quilt at the time of the exhibition, and I recall seeing photos of it years earlier. I bought it when it was hanging at the Whatcom, but had to wait for the exhibition to end before receiving it. 


The quilt appeared in a 2014 article about my collection in the German magazine, Patchwork Professional; but I have not shared it with a lot of publications because it was already very well known when I got it. Old quilts can be celebrities, too!

The best part about having a quilt collection is sharing the quilts, even if it seems like oversharing. People worry about oversharing in 2018. It's a thing. I never worry about it with old quilts. I want everyone to see them, even if some folks saw them before. The quilts may be old, but it never gets old looking at them.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Where have I seen that quilt before? (1)


The French expression "deja vu" translates to "already seen" and is meant to express the uncanny feeling of recollection. Sometimes people look at the quilts in my collection and think, "Deja vu!" Chances are, they have already seen the quilts...but where? 



This mid-19th century floral applique quilt was one of the most memorable discoveries of the Kentucky Quilt Project, America's first statewide quilt documentation project conducted in the early 1980s. 


The quilt, made by Mrs. M.E. Poyner of Paducah, Kentucky appeared in several exhibitions and publications since it was unearthed. It was part of "Kentucky Quilts, 1800-1900"-- the first book published by a state quilt documentation project. It also appeared in "Passionate About Quilts" by Shelly Zegart.



The quilt traveled extensively with the "Kentucky Quilts" exhibition when it belonged to Hardin Pettit, an avid collector of Kentucky folk art and Americana. It later belonged to Shelly Zegart, and was on tour with the "Homefront & Battlefield: Quilts & Context in the Civil War" exhibition when I acquired it from Shelly. It was also in the catalogue. 


The quilt's latest appearance is in the new book, "Inspired Free-Motion Quilting: 90 Antique Designs Reinterpreted for Today's Quilter" (2018, C&T Stash), co-authored with Mandy Leins.


The best part about having a quilt collection is sharing the quilts, even if it seems like oversharing. People worry about oversharing in 2018. It's a thing. I never worry about it with old quilts. I want everyone to see them, even if some folks saw them before. The quilts may be old, but it never gets old looking at them.