Saturday, November 30, 2013

3:30 AM

Woke up in the middle of the night last week, it was around 3:30 AM, and bought a quilt. It's a 1970s polyester double knit 16-patch from Florida. Never would have thought to put these colors together, but somehow it works. In good condition, with the exception of one patch.

OOPS! One of the fee things that can destroy polyester double knit is an open flame. Looks like one of the quilt's previous owners may have been smoking in bed!

Didn't Peggy Lee sing about that? Why yes, she did!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

MANifestations @ Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum - I'm in!

Center Star, 2013

It's not my style to sweat it out over juried show entries. Been there, done that. These days, it's much more my style to enter late at night toward the deadline, often when enjoying a few beers, and forget about it. This way, I usually forget I've entered, so it's a pleasant surprise when I get a notification- particularly when I have gotten in to the show.

I entered "Center Star" in MANifestations, the 12th biennial exhibit featuring quilts made by men, and got an acceptance notification today. Yipee!!

When the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum presented "Man Made" in 1992, the first exhibit of quilts made exclusively by men, museum visitors were surprised. Were there really men working in what was traditionally a women's art form? The novelty has worn off, but the RMQM biennial showcase of quilts made by men continues to be one of its most anticipated and popular exhibits. This year's juror was Bill Gardner, editor in chief of Quilters Newsletter Magazine.

The exhibit will be on display from February 3rd through April 29th, 2014, at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, Colorado. For more details, click here.

Monday, November 18, 2013

photo catch-up

cotton calico Bars and Boxes, c. 1975, Arizona
I have been catching up on photographing quilts purchased during the last couple months, and all of the quilts I shot today were made in the 1960s and 1970s. Two were cotton, and three were polyester. There were two crib quilts, one T-shaped top Sixteen-Patch with dust ruffle on three edges, and two medium size, folky cotton quilts. Sorry it took so long. Enjoy the pictures!
polyester Nine-Patch crib quilt, c. 1970, Illinois
polyester Trip Around the World crib quilt, c. 1970, Illinois
cotton Drunkard's Trail, c. 1960, Texas
polyester Sixteen-Patch, c. 1970, Kentucky

Thursday, November 14, 2013

what a day!

Statue of Liberty
First, my apologies to all the friends I didn't get to see on this trip to New York. Next time! I was feeling under the weather and going slowly for the first few days of my visit, but today was catch-up time. I needed to get some pictures of the Statue of Liberty and Chrysler Building for a special project, and while I was at it, I went to the top of the Empire State Building!

Chrysler Building
view from the Empire State Building, looking south
looking north
inside the Empire State Building
the new World Trade Center tower, seen from Ellis Island
Later, I strolled around midtown posting instagram pictures of some of the sights. There was a lot to see!

Plaza Hotel under renovation 
at Central Park
at Rockefeller Center
somewhere in Midtown
The Naked Cowboy performing at Times Square
one man band in the subway
It's been decades since I ran around the city taking pictures all day, and it was a lot to do, but also a lot of fun. Headed home in the morning, but can't wait to come back! Next time, less running around, more visiting with friends.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

the city

Grand Central Station
In case you're wondering where I've been lately, I've been in the city. That's what we always called it, "the city", and there was never any question what city we were talking about. It was not just any city, it was the city.

...still a little early...
rush, rush!! it's almost rush hour!
I cannot believe how clean the subways are - and no more tokens!
Times Square
Times Square
The "Interwoven Globe" exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was absolutely stunning, but sorry, we weren't allowed to take pictures in the galleries. Been ten years since I was in the city. Glad to be back for a visit.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Now on display in San Jose

One of my New York Beauty quilts is still in California, but not because it was forgotten. This rescue quilt, dramatically missing two large chunks, is now on display at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles as part of the "Quilt Detective: Fake, Fraud or Finished?" exhibit.

photo courtesy of San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles
The quilt was not part of my recent exhibition at the museum, but I shared it during the supporters' dinner at Nancy Bavor's house in September. I was trying to emphasize the importance of museums like the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, especially the importance of museum supporters. Without these museums, our quilts could end up like this damaged masterpiece.

There's a certain amount of shock value involved whenever I open up the damaged quilt and show it to unsuspecting quilt lovers. It was especially dramatic to see it after spending the afternoon leading a gallery tour of the 35 quilts, most of which were in very good condition. Seeing the reaction to the quilt at the supporter's dinner, the museum staff asked if it would be OK to hold on to it for the "Quilt Detective" exhibit, and I happily agreed.

photo courtesy of Nancy Bavor, San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles
Finally this quilt, which was not included in either of my two exhibitions, will have its day in the sun! It's hanging right where the Cinco de Mayo was during my exhibition, and it really jumps out on that dark wall. According to the museum staff, visitors are very enthralled with the quilt. It captures the imagination. In my experience, that's always been the type of reaction I get when I show it.

"Quilt Detective: Fake, Fraud, or Finished?" is on display at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles through January 19th, 2014. For more information, click here.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Japanese indigo katazome fabric book

Ever since seeing "Mottainai: The Fabric of Life" at the Japanese Garden in Portland two years ago, I have subscribed to alerts from Sri, whose collection was showcased in the exhibit. Sri sells antique and vintage Japanese textiles, and last week I spotted a swatch book of indigo dyed katazome fabrics in Sri's new listings. Loved it, had to have it.

There are just four fabrics in the book, all made about 100 years ago, and there's something very modern about the floral designs. These prints would work well in today's decor. Earlier in the fall I purchased a couple other pieces from an Etsy seller in Japan, so now I've got a small collection of antique Japanese indigo.

It's very interesting to look at the variety of indigo resist printed fabrics around the world. The thing that got me started was the two 18th century quilts in my collection, and inspiration from collectors Kay and Lori Lee Triplett, who have collected and studied indigo much longer than I. There was also an exhibit of indigo last year at the International Quilt Study Center Museum in Lincoln. Eventually, it was impossible for me to resist the allure of indigo.

When looking for information pertinent to my two quilts, the search led to places like the Shelburne Museum, Rhode Island Historical Society, and Winterthur. It seemed like those two quilts were strong enough to be the foundation for a small collection with a focus on indigo. That's what got me looking at boro and katazome, African fabrics, early American woven coverlets, and even my own denim jeans. I don't know where this lust for indigo will lead, but it's been fun to go down that road.

Peddie Blair Weekend

The Peddie School is an independent boarding and day school in New Jersey, midway between New York and Philadelphia. The school was founded in 1864, and Peddie maintains the oldest football rivalry in the state of New Jersey, the annual showdown with Blair Academy, which has gone on since 1903!! My father went to Peddie, played football, graduated in 1946. I also went to Peddie, didn't play football, but swam, and graduated in 1984. We were both boarding students.

This weekend is the big game. I won't be there unfortunately, but can still cheer from the west coast. Apparently there are three trophies at stake, the Potter-Kelly Cup won by the school with the most athletic victories in the fall sports between the two schools; the Middle Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) title, known as the MAPLE Cup; and the prep A state championship! Three trophies could be earned if the Falcons pull out the victory.

Since I live in Portland, I don't get back to the school as often as I once did, but I hold a very special, related object. The 1946 class ring (above) belonged to my father. When I was about to graduate, he gave it to me with my initials engraved inside along with his. An amazing gift, and I'm not talking specifically about the ring. The gift was the experience, and how it connected me with Dad.

I'll be wearing the ring this weekend for good luck. Go Peddie! Ala Viva!!

a different kind of Kentucky bedcover

1970s polyester patchwork bedcover with dust ruffle, Kentucky
Usually when I think about Kentucky quilts, the masterpiece quilts from the mid to late 19th century come to mind. There are several in my collection mostly New York Beauties, and I recently purchased a wonderfully folky Oak Leaf Variant made in Paducah.

pieced quilt, c. 1850, Kentucky, later known as New York Beauty
pieced quilt, c. 1860, Kentucky, later known as New York Beauty
pieced quilt, c. 1865, Kentucky, later known as New York Beauty
Oak Leaf Variant, c. 1860, Paducah, Kentucky
So here's a different kind of Kentucky bedcover, one that caught me by surprise. I found it on eBay late last night, and it is a polyester 16 Patch top, finished with a dust ruffle on three edges. It's also a different kind of T-shaped cover.

Although it is finished on the edges, there is no backing. All of the construction is visible, but the spread is still fully functional. This is the first T-shaped piece I have found from the 70s, and it refers directly back to the earlier tradition of T-shaped quilts and counterpanes. I also have a few of those.

whole cloth quilt, c. 1790, New England
pieced quilt, c. 1800, Rhode Island
candlewick spread, c. 1825, eastern United States
pieced quilt, c. 1830, New England

It was interesting to discover a T-shaped bedcover from the 1970s, and see how it compared to the old examples. This one seems like it will be another big one. The auction listing said it was 54" wide with 23" drop. That means it would be another monumental scale polyester bedcover. I have seen some of those lately. The auction pictures give a good idea of what it looks like, but I still can't wait to see it in person.