Thursday, December 31, 2015

My 1000th Blog Post - Giveaway

Here we are on the last day of the year, and after successfully conquering the challenge to blog every day in December, I have realized my last post of the month and the year is also my 1000th blog post.

So, to celebrate, I am doing a giveaway. The prize will be revealed when the winner is announced, and it will be something very nice indeed! To enter, just leave a comment and tell me what you enjoy most about Wonkyworld. A random winner will be selected and announced in my 1001st blog post tomorrow, January 1st, 2016. Thank you, readers, and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Textile Tuesday: Original Works

During my recent Crafty Planner Podcast, Sandi asked about the quilts I'd made. This topic is one of a few that could have benefitted from a little more detail. I made my first quilt in 2012, and a few other small quilts in the same year. One of those quilts, "House of Wonky" was entered in the "Small Wonders Challenge" of the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. It was my first time entering a quilt in any show, and fI received a blue ribbon for Viewer's Choice in the challenge, also selling the quilt.

"Marvelette" 2012 - medium size - part of "Manland" at the
Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show
After the show director saw my "House of Wonky" challenge entry, she asked me to make a quilt for the Manland special exhibit. The quilt is called Marvelette, and it is hanging up in my home. 

one of my first quilts, given as a gift
Most of the first quilts went to other homes, but I do have pictures. One of my favorites was a blue and orange crazy block. I quilted it myself on my Featherweight.

"Center Star" was selected for the 2014 MANifestations Exhibit at the
Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum
A few months later, I attended a retreat in Sisters with Sue Spargo and Gwen Marston. Gwen had a workshop on the first day, focusing on liberated medallions. I started a small quilt called "Center Star" during the workshop, and it was later quilted by Tomme Fent and featured in a biennial juried exhibit at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum.

"Wild Eyed Susans" 2013 received a ribbon at the
Pacific West Quilt Show
After Gwen's workshop, the retreat took place, and the focus was wool quilts with a folk art inspiration. Of course, I did my own thing, not having the sewing skills to take part in all the offerings, but still wanting to make something. The quilt I made was called "Wild Eyed Susans" and it later received a ribbon at the Pacific West Quilt Show, the first time I entered a judged show.

My first and only large quilt is called "Oregon July" and was completed in 2014. The pieces of this quilt were made around the time I made "Marvelette" but I had troubles sewing and working my machine, so it sat for a while and I got help. I brought the quilt in three large pieces to Jolene Knight, who got it together and did a wonderful job quilting and finishing it.

The quilt is big patchwork on the front, and wholecloth on the back, where the quilting design is most fully revealed. It was designed that way because it is about falling in love with Oregon, and how some of the best things about this beautiful state take time to discover. The quilt received a ribbon at the 2015 Northwest Quilters Show for free motion quilting, and I handed the ribbon directly to Jolene.

My most recent quilt is called "Fruity Beauty" and was made with digitally printed Spoonflower fabrics and also quilted by Jolene Knight. In 2016, it will be on display in the men's biennial at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum. Fortunately, the rules allow for female long-arm quilters!

So, that's a little more about my quiltmaking. I only made one quilt in 2015, so I am hoping to have a little more time to make quilts in 2016. To listen to the Crafty Planner Podcast, click here.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Coming Soon: Kalakoa, Discovering the Hawaiian Scrap Quilt

In January and February, I will exhibit Hawaiian scrap quilts at Latimer Quilt & Textile Center in Tillamook, Oregon. The eruption of explosive, tropical color will be an oasis in the winter, when the Oregon coast is often cold, rainy and gray.

For anyone who cannot get to Tillamook during January and February, there is a print catalogue available.

It looks like 2016 will be another excellent year, and it'll be starting off with a bang. Latimer Quilt & Textile Center is located at 2105 Wilson River Loop in Tillamook. If you are planning a visit, make sure to double check on the Center's winter hours. For more information, visit their web site or phone 503-842-8622.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Practice Makes Perfect: My Other Books

The first time I self published a book was more than ten years ago, after watching a holiday gift segment on the Today Show. When I learned my iPhoto program also had a template for creating books, which could be printed on demand, I tried it out and made picture books as gifts for my family. By 2009, I discovered Blurb and liked the quality, so I continued to use it.

The first quilt book I created for sale did not include my own quilts. It was the 2011 exhibition catalogue for "Small Wonders, Doll Quilts by Andrea Balosky" and it is still available. The 120-page, full color, softcover catalogue includes more than 100 of Balosky's incredible doll quilts.

Between 2011 and the present, I published catalogues for my own exhibitions: "Beauty Secrets, 150 Years of History in One Quilt Pattern" (2011, Benton County Museum); "Changing the World, Quilts from the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative" (2012, Anne Amie Vineyards); "Collecting New York Beauty Quilts" (2013, San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles); "Masterpiece Quilts, Modernism in American Patchwork, 1810-1970" (Latimer Quilt & Textile Center); "Modern Materials, Quilts of the 1970s" (2015, Benton County Museum); and "Kalakoa, Discovering the Hawaiian Scrap Quilt" (2016, Latimer Quilt & Textile Center).

Three of those catalogues are now out of print, and others are available only for a limited time. You had to be there, or you had to be paying attention. Less than 100 copies of each out-of-print book exists, which ultimately means they will always be scarce and very hard to find. I like the idea of sending people on long quests to find scarce, out-of-print books long after I am gone. Call it a prank, but whenever someone finds a copy, it will be an event!

my "first" book was really more like my 30th or 40th
There were many other books, such as the small booklet I handed out at the American Quilt Study Group Seminar in 2012, and private books with travel and family photos, given as gifts during the Holidays. I probably published 30 or 40 books before publishing my "first book" - "New York Beauty, Quilts from the Volckening Collection" (Quiltmania/France) - available here.

My "second" book, "Modern Roots, Today's Quilts from Yesterday's Inspiration, 12 Projects Inspired by Patchwork from 1840 to 1970" (C&T/Stash) will arrive in Spring, 2016 and I am thrilled. To offer a group of quilts from my collection to today's quiltmakers for the first time is a dream come true. All of the experience self publishing books was helpful. Each one was like a dress rehearsal. Practice makes perfect.

Friday, December 25, 2015

2015 Annual

Each year since 2012, I have self-published an annual book higlighting collection acquisitions. This year's book is a little thicker than the other three, and I dropped "acquisitions" from the title, anticipating a shift from collecting to exhibiting and publishing. However, 2015 was the most prolific collecting year so far, and a lot of the new acquisitions were gifts.

This year's book includes some photosfrom the year's events. It was an eventful year. If you followed my blog, you know what I'm saying.

In 2015, I showed why I call myself a quilt magnet. Gifts accounted for 24 of the quilts in the book, and there were more than that.

Most of the purchases fell into three categories: 1970s, 20st century and Hawaiian Scrap quilts.

The 2015 Annual is now available through Blurb. To preview order the book, click here.

Season's Greetings!

Season's Greetings! Today I thought I would share pictures from 2009, when Mom came from Maine and we celebrated Christmas in Oregon. To get ready, I decked the walls.

My house doesn't look as festive this year; the trees and ornaments are in boxes in the attic, but there are still plenty of quilts around. Here's wishing all my readers a Happy Holiday Season!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Throwback Thursday: 2002

In 2002, I appeared on an episode of the Cooking Thin Show with chef Kathleen Daelemans on the Food Network. We met up in New York at the Food Network Studios. The set of Molto Mario was just inside, and I got a picture holding one of his wooden spoons. He never knew.

From there, we took a van to a home in Connecticut where filming was done, a whole day of shooting for 22 minutes of footage. It was an interesting, memorable experience, but one time was enough. The work is harder than it looks, and we had to wear make-up. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

C&T Spring 2016 Catalog!

When the C&T Spring 2016 Catalog arrived a week or two ago, I was on my way out the door, so I flipped through quickly and set it aside for later. It hadn't occurred to me that my book would be in it, but then I realized it probably would, so I looked again, and there it was! I was excited to see it on a full page as a new release, and there are a couple new photos of quilts by Krista Hennebury and Jacqueline Sava.

Of course, my book is one of hundreds in the catalog, so there's something for everyone. Being in the catalog is like being with friends. As I looked through the pages, I was happy to see so many friends and people I have met. My book, Modern Roots, Today's Quilts from Yesterday's Inspiration is now available for preorder and will be released in the late spring, 2016. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

"Red" - a #postmodernquilt

Red is love, war, passion, and blood. This quilt is new to my collection, and it explores the color red with elements of Pop Art, Matisse, Rorschach and traditional Hawaiian quiltmaking. It's a mash-up. The more you know about art history, quilt history, and quilt construction, the more remarkable it is.

"Red" 2015 by Teresa Coates, quilted by Jolene Knight, 78" x 78"
It is a very well crafted quilt. Teresa Coates of Portland, Oregon stitched the top with hand needleturn appliqué. The decision to do needleturn appliqué by hand was fueled by the desire to create a quilt of the finest quality. Raw-edge fusible applique was another option, but easier isn't always better.

Jolene Knight quilted the piece. She used computer guided quilting in the center spiral of the red, and the remaining red was free-motion quilted, continuing the pattern of the spiral. The white area was also free-motion quilted, but it was all echo quilted, following the applique design. Teresa Coates added a few randomly placed rows of big-stitch hand quilting, a subtle detail you will only see up close.


You could call it a modern quilt, but it is really 21st century and postmodern. A #postmodernquilt. When I photographed it, I was missing the wonderful late afternoon light of the summertime, which really helps the surface texture pop. As a result, these photos look a bit flat. The quilt is drop-dead gorgeous and full of texture in person. A masterpiece. I look forward to getting pictures when the light is right.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

from the scrap bag

Rail Fence made in Oregon with Hawaiian scraps
cottons, c. 1985-1995, 68" x 85"
A pair of quilts arrived last week from a seller in central Oregon. Both of them are Rail Fence, made some time in the last 30 years.

Rail Fence made in Oregon with Hawaiian scraps
cottons, c. 1985-1995, 66" x 83"
Interestingly, the finishes do not match, even though the quilts came from the same home. One is hand quilted and has a narrow, applied cotton binding. The other is machine quilted and has an inch-wide applied polyester double knit binding.

Both quilts include strips of Hawaiian print fabric, but I do not believe they were made there. The other day, when talking to Sandi Hazlewood on the Crafty Planner podcast, she told a story about a vacation to Hawaii, when she bought a bag of scraps and sent them back to her mother, who made a quilt.

I think these two quilts have similar origins; bags of scraps brought back to the mainland, where quilts were made. The strips are fairly uniform but irregularly shaped, and it seems to be a deep stash with a wide variety of Hawaiian prints; perhaps more of an industry-generated stash than a personal one.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

"What was the attraction to quilts?"

During my Crafty Planner podcast, Sandi asked, "What was the attraction to quilts?" When I listened to my response later, I realized I was maybe a bit too brief. There was more to say on the subject. Yes, quilts were less expensive than paintings and good for acoustics, but that wasn't really the initial attraction.

As I mentioned at another point in the podcast, quilts were a meeting place for my love of art and antiques. Beyond that, quilts blurred the line between craft and art. They were graphic, and surprisingly modern looking for antique, handmade objects. Also, they represented the longest continuous tradition of women's creative expression in America.

Most of all, quilts were beautiful. In 1989, when I first discovered quilts and acquired my first antique quilt, I was receiving a lot of information about art and history in my college studies. My major was photography, and we learned there was a period when photography was a new invention and people debated its practical applications. Was it science or was it art? It was both!

Is a quilt craft or art? It's funny to hear that question today, having gone through the whole discussion about a million times in the past, and not just with quilts. The answer is, a quilt is both, but its function can evolve over time, shifting from utilitarian object to museum object.

Quilts are so much more to me today. I love how they connect us all. No matter who we are, we share a love of quilts. There's something magical about that, and also about quilts. Great old quilts sometimes appear to guide their own journeys. It makes me wonder what, if any metaphysical forces could be at play. If you want to know what would make me say that, you can read about how a national treasure fell into my lap. That story was even more uncanny when I noted the coincidence of Williams.

So, that's a lttle more of what I would say in response to Sandi's question. To listen to the Crafty Planner podcast, click here. The quilts in this post are from my first book, "New York Beauty, Quilts from the Volckening Collection" available from Quiltmania and select retailers.

Friday, December 18, 2015

1970s Improv, Polyester

This wonderful 1970s polyester quilt came from an ebay seller in Russell Springs, Kentucky. It is 73" x 77" and was made in an improvisational style with strips of brightly colored polyester double knit. And here's a new one, the quilt is raw-edge appliqued on cloth foundation, and tied! Who knew you could do that?!?! Another bargain, the shipping cost almost as much as the quilt, 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Do You Know the Way to San Jose?

Mom and I in San Jose
Do you know the way to San Jose? In 2013, I exhibited quilts at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, and it was an extraordinary experience. My mother came from Maine and my sister came from Massachusetts. That was a big deal, since we live on opposite coasts and usually see each other just once a year at Christmas.

It was the first time one of my exhibitions brought the three of us together; also the first time my sister had seen my quilts on display. I was so happy to share what I was doing, but especially with my family. It was one of those proud family moments. 

The exhibition came at a point when things were really beginning to crystalize with the collection. Two years earlier, I exhibited a group of the quilts at the Benton County Museum in Philomath, Oregon. Then, there was a big article in Quilters Newsletter, and that's how San Jose found me. 

There were more than 40 objects in the exhibition, which focused on the history of the "New York Beauty" motif. The oldest quilts were from the Civil War period, and the most recent were made in the 21st century.

When I was preparing for the exhibition, Quiltmania came to visit my home in Portland, and I showed them the quilts. That was when they invited me to write a book. I'm still pinching myself. There wasn't much time to think about it, but after the exhibition, I was prepared to write that book.

Roderick Kiracofe, Bill Volckening, and Joe Cunningham
Many people came to the reception in San Jose. I met Yvonne Porcella, and had my picture taken with Roderick Kiracofe and Joe Cunningham. The shoes may have made me an inch taller, but I look up to them. To bring all these people and my family together made me happy. Now that I know the way to San Jose, I look forward to going back someday.