Sunday, December 31, 2017

Coffee with Christina Cameli

The other day, I had coffee with Christina Cameli.

She had just received copies of her beautiful new book, "Wedge Quilt Workshop" (2017 C&T/ Stash Books), and she wanted me to have one. I'm always excited to see Christina's latest work, but this book also includes four quilts from my collection.

Many months ago -- so long ago I'd completely forgotten about it -- Christina asked if I had any photos of quilts with wedges, such as fans or Dresden Plates. She was interested in wedge quilts and wanted to look at antique and vintage examples to enhance and inform her work.

wool fans quilt found at Cabot Mill antique shop in Maine
I sent as many photos as I could find, gave her permission to use them and then proceeded to completely forget about it. It happens more often than you'd think, but there's a beauty in being forgetful about good deeds such as contributions to books. Each time a new title comes out, it's like a surprise.

Christina was at the December Portland Modern Quilt Guild meeting, and she showed me photos of some pages on her phone. That was when I remembered some of my quilts would be part of her book, and of course I felt very honored. Two of the quilts appeared in my last book, "Modern Roots" -- also published by C&T/Stash Books.

The fan quilt was made around the turn of the century and came from an antique shop in Maine. The two that appeared in "Modern Roots" were from eBay sellers. The fourth quilt, a large wheel design with a blue background, came from one of my high school friends, Greg Rabinowitz, who found it in an estate sale in Florida.

Christina's modern quilts are vibrant, simply gorgeous, and two of them will be at the upcoming QuiltCon in Pasadena. I couldn't remember which ones, but two of my favorites in the book were Sea of Serenity and Sacred Heart. I think everyone will enjoy reading about these quilts. They're so much more than simply beautiful objects.

When I saw the book cover, I recalled another quilt from my collection, which is now part of the collection at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum. It is an inscribed, red and white quilt with a wonderful, optical design made with wedge-shaped patches. It is the same design as the quilt on the cover. I regretted not thinking about it earlier, but for the sake of comparison, here it is.

It was lovely to sit and chat with Christina, and I'm thrilled for her and new book. We enjoyed coffee at Stumptown Coffee Roasters on Division with my girlfriend, Linda. The baristas were beautiful, and I asked them if they had to be supermodels to work there. They gave us lattes with hearts.


Saturday, December 30, 2017

What a year!

In 2017, I focused on what was important, and quilts were part of each and every day. Early in the year, I traveled to Hawaii on a whirlwind vintage collecting spree, in search of Hawaiian scrap quilts made of aloha shirts and muumuus.

Later in the year, I exhibited polyester quilts from the 1970s at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum. It was a culminating experience following several years of focused collecting, and it was a big honor.

In the summer, I spent long days at the beach, but didn't get a lot of photos I could share in blog posts. I did, however, lay out on a polyester patchwork quilt almost every day.

The new year promises more of the same, even though fewer projects are planned. There is a new book on the way, I will be buying and selling quilts, and love is in the air. Thank you to all the readers and everyone who stopped by Wonkyworld in 2017. May 2018 bring you much joy, and may Wonkyworld and great quilts be a big part of it.


Friday, December 29, 2017

A Bookish Christmas

If you want to fast-track your education about old quilts, try picking up a book.
One of the lesser known facts about The Volckening Collection is it includes almost as many books as quilts.

Handling quilts in person is still my favorite way of learning about them, but the books fill in the gaps and answer questions. Choosing good books put me on an educational fast track.

Christmas is a good time to play catch up. I shared my Amazon wish list with Mom, and she selected several of the books I wanted most. My sister also got me a really interesting looking book about wool.

This year's selection of books received as Christmas gifts included some hard to find and out-of-print titles. I also received the long-awaited book of red and white quilts from the American Folk Art Museum in New York.

It was a bookish Christmas, just the kind I like. Thank you to my family for indulging me. I'm looking forward to diving in to these books.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

My 2018 Word of the Year!

Be original! That's my message for 2018 and beyond. Every year I like to choose a word for the year. It's not an original idea. I started doing it because other people were, and I like the word to be rooted in my hopes for the new year. In 2018, I hope to see more originality. I hope to encourage others to look for originality and generate it, and I hope to be a beacon for it. Originality is my 2018 word of the year. What's yours?

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Embroidered Applique Quilt, c. 1950, Maine

The auction was more than a month ago, but for a variety of reasons, there was a delay shipping this quilt. It came from an auction house in Maine, and a shipper in Portland was planning to ship it, but possibly not until after Christmas. So, I let them know I would soon be in Maine, and arranged to pick it up in person. I'm glad I did. We enjoyed having it around for the Holidays.

It's a charming piece, full of appliqued animals, creatures and other figures...there's even a Santa Claus. Merry Christmas!

The quilt is 52" x 80" and is backed, bound and tied in a few places, but has no batting. Here are photos of some of the individual blocks, showing the applique and embroidery. Enjoy!


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

your favorites

It was a lot of fun counting down my top 20 quilts acquired in 2017 during the month of December, from the 7th through the 25th. Seeing these quilts together as one group representing a year of collecting was really something! I gained a great appreciation for diversity in quiltmaking and how it can shape a collection.

So, which ones were your favorites?

Monday, December 25, 2017

Top 20 Quilts of 2017: #1, Holy Hexies!

Holy Hexies! What an incredible year it was.
Merry Christmas! This month, I posted a series of blogs counting down my top 20 quilts of the year. All the quilts were acquired by the collection in 2017, and they represent four centuries of American quilts. 

I thought it would be a slow year for collecting, but it turned out to be fast-paced and phenomenal. Several quilts in the countdown could have landed in the top spot, but at the end of an amazing year one quilt stood out-- a one-of-a-kind original, antique pictorial quilt from Pennsylvania, made of hexagon shaped patches. This pictorial hexagon quilt came from an auction house near Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The first time I saw it, I was stunned. I'd never seen anything like it, and it's not just my favorite acquisition of the year, it's one of my all-time favorites. To read more about it, click here and here.

Top 20 Quilts of 2017: #2, Magnificent Floral Appliqué

Merry Christmas! This month, I am posting a series of blogs counting down my top 20 quilts of the year. All the quilts were acquired by the collection in 2017, and they represent four centuries of American quilts. Stay tuned for #1...

Something unusual happened when I brought this mid-19th century floral appliqué quilt to the December Portland Modern Quilt Guild Meeting for Show & Tell. Before I could say a word, the audience erupted in applause. I was a little surprised, but the quilt deserved the ovation. This best-of-kind applique quilt was offered in a sleepy eBay Live event held by a California auction house on a Sunday evening. An absence of competitive bidders made it a remarkable bargain. To read more about the quilt, click here.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Top 20 Quilts of 2017: #3, Carolyn Mazloomi's Quilt

"Spirit of Forgiveness" by Carolyn Mazloomi 
This month, I am posting a series of blogs counting down my top 20 quilts of the year. All the quilts were acquired by the collection in 2017, and they represent four centuries of American quilts. 

Most of my Top 20 Quilts of 2017 are antique or vintage, but Carolyn Mazloomi made this masterpiece in 2014. This very special quilt tells the story of Adriaan Johannes Vlok, who was the Minister of Law and Order in South Africa from 1986 to 1991 during the final years of the apartheid era. As atonement for his despicable acts, he asked to wash the feet of mothers of some of the black men he ordered killed. Carolyn Mazloomi's stunning quilt. "Spirit of Forgiveness" is one of my favorite acquisitions of 2017. To read more about it, click here.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Top 20 Quilts of 2017: #4, The Cooke Family Quilt

Did Lili'uokalani know about the Cooke Family quilt
 before making The Queen's Quilt?
This month, I am posting a series of blogs counting down my top 20 quilts of the year. All the quilts were acquired by the collection in 2017, and they represent four centuries of American quilts. 

If you look for Victorian crazy quilts in Hawaii, you won't find much. This quilt came from the Cooke Family, and it raised some very interesting questions related to Queen Lili'uokalani and The Queen's Quilt. Does the Cooke Family Quilt shed any light on Lili'uokalani's knowledge of crazy quilts? To read more about it, click here.