Wednesday, October 10, 2012

"In the Cloth"

I approached my study center at the American Quilt Study Group Seminar in Lincoln, Nebraska, as an opportunity to give attendees something they would always remember. Hopefully, I did just that. My feeling is the best way to study quilts is in the cloth, so I brought 42 New York Beauties plus a few ephemeral objects, and shared them all with a group of 40 attendees in a two-hour period. That's right, I brain-banged 'em.

c. 1850, Kentucky
c. 1860, Kentucky
We didn't spend long on each quilt. The presentation was supposed to be more like a slide show, with quilts in chronological order, charting the life story of the New York Beauty quilt pattern. Rather than a slide show or powerpoint presentation, we had a big stack of quilts.

c. 1870, South Carolina
c. 1870, Kentucky
I've lived with these quilts, so they're all very familiar to me. Now that I've had time to debrief, I realize the whole thing must've been a spectacle.

c. 1900, Missouri
The two Mountain Mist New York Beauties, c. 1930
"Box of Crayons" is my nickname for this quilt, c. 1940
We saw how many things changed over time, including colors, fabrics, layout, sashing and cornerstones. Throughout all of its evolution, the New York Beauty was never an easy pattern.

c. 1940, Idaho
It was interesting to see so many red, white, and green ones made in different periods. Red, white and green was a traditional color combination for this quilt, a tradition that was maintained, no matter how non-traditional the quilt turned out to be.

c. 1940, Texas
After looking through all the old quilts, we saw some newer ones. In the last 15-20 years, the pattern has seen an evolution and resurgence in popularity. Foundation piecing was introduced, and artists turned the pattern upside-down and inside-out, infusing it with bold colors and whimsical overall designs.

1999, Indiana
2010, Washington
2011, California
2010, Connecticut
It was a memorable day for me, and I hope it was for everyone else. We saw 42 quilts in the cloth, and I sent everyone home with a little printed booklet, 20-pages, full-color- a spacial edition of my "Beauty Secrets" catalog made especially for the AQSG Seminar. It included pictures of certain quilts and a brief introduction to the collection, plus a block comparison. A friend who couldn't be there came over to me afterwards and said, "I heard you hit it out of the park." That felt good.

I would like to extend a big thank you to AQSG for having me as a study center presenter, and to everyone who was there. I hope you had as good a time as I did! For those who could not attend, I hope you've enjoyed the blog. :)

1 comment:

  1. I can never get enough of these quilts! Your seminar must have been amazing, and a a good way! A very good way! I'm sure everyone was giddy when they left, and thinking 'I need to make one of these NOW!' :o)