Quilt Stories collected at Not Fade Away 2015

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] The 2015 Not Fade Away conference was held in Herndon, Virginia. The event was co-hosted by the Quilt Alliance and the Sacred Threads Exhibit. Marin Hanson, curator at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum, gave the keynote address, and invited several quilters, including eQuilter.com co-founder and president Luana Rubin to share their stories about making 100 Good Wishes quilts for their daughters. Watch Marin’s lecture on our Youtube channel here. Quilt Alliance member Frances Dowell did a great segment about the 2015 conference on her podcast, the Off Kilter Quilt. Find out about the 2017 Not Fade Away event here….

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Voices Contest sneak peak from Margaret Cibulsky, our 2016 Handi Quilter Grand Prize Winner

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] The 2017 Quilt Alliance contest is underway and we are receiving some lovely entries from longtime members and those new to the organization. Entries last year addressed the theme Playing Favorites and submissions featured favorite techniques, color palettes, concepts, materials and even favorite people and animals. This year’s contest theme is Voices and we are challenging our members to share their opinions, memories, language, conversation and truths in the form of a quilt. The 2016 Handi Quilter Grand Prize Winner was Margaret Cibulsky of Port Washington, New York. For her winning entry, “My Garden,” Margaret received her choice of either a HQ Sweet Sixteen sit-down longarm machine package or an HQ Simply Sixteen and Little Foot package from Handi Quilter, Inc. This year’s 1st through 3rd place winners will receive a HQ Stitch 710, 510 and 210 respectively. Past Quilt Alliance Contest winners (Grand Prize and 1st-3rd place winners) are ineligible for a period of 3 years to win 1st-3rd place awards in this year’s contest. For the 2017 contest, this includes 2014, 2015, 2016 contest winners. All past entrants are, however, eligible for Honorable Mention and Judge’s Choice awards. We asked Margaret to tell us about her quilting journey. In 2006, Cibulsky joined a quilting group in her Congregation who were making throw quilts for those in need of a lift. With basic skills under her belt, she was inspired her to make her first quilt. Cibulsky’s husband passed away in 2004, and the quilt was made of his clothing. She still considers this quilt, finished in 2010, to be her best. Cibulsky joined the NYC Metro Mod Guild around that time and has only missed a few meetings since. She is basically self-taught but she has learned from other guild members, from books and blogs. Cibulsky says although her first love was teaching, (32 years as a kindergarten and first grade teacher), designing and making quilts is her new passion, especially the process! Cibulsky sent us a look at how her 2017 Voices quilt was put together. [huge_it_gallery id=”16″]…

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Industry pros Mark Lipinski and Marianne Fons shared special quilts at QTM 2016

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] Quilters Take Manhattan is the Quilt Alliance’s annual fundraising event held at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in the heart of the Garment District in New York City. Every September since 2011, quilt world stars like Marianne Fons, Denyse Schmidt, Jennifer Chiaverini, Hollis Chatelain, Amy Butler, Ricky Tims and Kaffe Fassett have shared their stories at our annual QTM event to support our cause of documenting, preserving and sharing the history of quilts and their makers. Last year’s speakers were Kaffe Fassett and Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, and Mark Lipinski was interviewed for the Quilters’ S.O.S.- Save Our Stories (QSOS) project by Marie Bostwick. Since we started our video project Go Tell It at the Quilt Show! in 2012, we have collected more than 300 recordings of “one person talking about one quilt in front of one camera for three minutes or less.” Live QSOS and Go Tell It! interviews have added a fun and sometimes emotional element to our annual QTM event. Here are recordings of Marianne Fons and Mark Lipinski from last year’s QTM.

And don’t forget, if you plan to attend this year’s QTM (September 15-17) featuring speakers Sherri Lynn Wood, Merikay Waldvogel, and a QSOS interview with Michael E. Cummings conducted by Dr. Carolyn L. Mazloomi, get your tickets soon. We expect to sell out! For more information and tickets, visit our website here….

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Remembering Alan Jabbour, 1942-2017

Remembering Alan Jabbour, 1942-2017

This week the Quilt Alliance lost one of its original supporters, who helped envision, lead, and sustain the organization and its projects. Alan Jabbour, former Quilt Alliance board member (2001-07) and president (2006-07), died on January 13, 2017. A renowned folklorist, old-time fiddle player, and collector of old fiddle tunes, Alan was the founding director of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. He was also a mentor and friend to many, including those of us who were lucky enough to serve on the board of the Quilt Alliance with him. In 1992, Shelly Zegart and Eunice Ray of the Kentucky Quilt Project went to the American Folklife Center to pitch their idea for a database compiling all of the data from the many state quilt documentation projects—the largest grassroots movement to document an aspect of the decorative arts—along with related quilt media. “Alan loved the idea of the Index and was on board from moment one,” recalls Shelly. “His encouragement, support, and uplift made all the difference.” Soon after, Zegart and Ray joined forces with Karey Bresenhan and Nancy Puentes O’Bryant to establish the Quilt Alliance. Alan hosted the Quilt Alliance’s initial advisory council meeting in 1995 at the Library of Congress. He served as an essential early booster of our mission, and his invaluable connections and leadership served both the Quilt Alliance and the Quilt Index—a partner project of the Quilt Alliance, Michigan State University Museum and MSU’s MATRIX: the Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences—as we developed the organization and this signature project from a nascent idea to what they are today.  As Shelly notes, “having the imprimatur of the American Folklife Center made a huge difference in the validation of the Quilt Index and the Alliance.” In addition to serving as a guiding force during the Quilt Alliance’s formative years, Alan impacted many of us personally, through his kind words, encouragement, and musical talent. QA executive director Amy Milne reflects, “Personally, I found Alan to be a warm and supportive colleague whose mentorship meant a lot to me. His devotion to family was unmistakable.” Former board member and Quilt Alliance president Le Rowell fondly recalls her close collaboration with Alan, as well as the “pleasure of his fiddling and folk music presentations, his gift of storytelling and his calm, gentle presence.” I benefitted from his encouragement as I worked toward finishing my book; he believed in me, and that helped me believe in myself.   As a folklorist, Alan helped us situate quilts in the world of folk culture. It was hard not to when he’d break out his fiddle. At one board reception in Asheville with Amy’s young children in attendance, he played while they danced, reminding us how we pass on our love of culture and history to each new generation. At Quilters Take Manhattan in 2012, we enjoyed the most delightful entertainment at the annual “After Dark” cocktail party following the main event at FIT. Alan brought both his fiddle and his encyclopedic knowledge of traditional tunes. He played, while our guests danced. Before each song, he would recount its origins, and how he learned it. Denyse Schmidt, who recalls her love of old-time music in her QSOS interview, was a particularly vivacious participant in the makeshift dance floor in Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s loft apartment. Our thoughts are with Karen Jabbour, Alan’s wife of over 55 years, and their extended family. We join the many individuals whose lives Alan touched, sharing in the grief of having lost such an inspirational and devoted friend and colleague. To learn more about Alan: Stephen Winick, “Alan Jabbour 1942-2017,” Folklife Today. Ken Perlman (Alan’s musical partner), remembering Alan. Alan Jabbour’s website Posted by Janneken Smucker President of the Board of Directors, Quilt Alliance jsmucker@wcupa.edu…

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Inspired Giving: Artist/Collector Perspective

In this second post in our series Inspired Giving, you’ll hear from three Quilt Alliance board members who have both donated quilts to our annual auction and purchased quilts for their personal collection made by other artists. Allie Aller, Meg Cox and Lisa Ellis have each donated multiple quilts to the Quilt Alliance’s annual contest, exhibition and auction. We asked each of them to tell us more about their personal quilting history, and what inspires them to create, donate and collect quilt pieces. You can bid on the current group of Quilt Alliance auction quilts here.  Tell us your name, location and occupation. Allie Aller of Washougal, WA, studio quilter, author, teacher. Meg Cox of Princeton, NJ, journalist. Lisa Ellis of Fairfax, VA, currently working part time as both an Engineer and Quilt Teacher. Both offer fulfillment. One pays the bills.

How many years have you been quilting and who taught you to quilt? Allie: 44 years quilting; taught by my cousin Tracy Seidman Meg: 28 years quilting; taught by my mom Lisa: 13 years quilting; taught by a friend from church, Gwen Emmett. Since she graciously taught me in her home, I have paid it forward and done the same for others.   Where do you quilt and what themes or techniques are you currently working with in your studio? Allie: I quilt in my own sewing room at home. I’ve been intently exploring new approaches to stained glass quilting, after having spent several years pursuing the subject in the 1990s. I have a new book coming about this work in February 2017, Allie Aller’s Stained Glass Quilts Reimagined: Fresh Techniques and Design, from C & T Publishing. Meg: Soon, I will be quilting in a spacious studio next to my basement office. I’m making very personal quilts about my life, as well as memorial quilts using my late husband’s shirts LIsa: I quilt in my home studio. I have spilled out into what used to be our formal living room. I am currently working on a series based on the cathedral window. I am using the circular motif to pixelate images. The folds in the block add texture and depth to the design.   What do you include on the labels of the quilts you donate? Allie: Quilt title, my name, where it was made, the month and year. If it is specifically for some one, I will write a personal inscription. Meg: The name of the quilt, date it was made, my name & often the name of the organization Lisa: I always include my name, location, and the date.   What inspires you to make and donate your quilts to the Quilt Alliance contest and auction? Allie: I believe in the Quilt Alliance’s mission, and want to support it. Also, I love being part of each group of contest quilts, because they are so diverse and as a whole make such a rich impact together. Finally, the design challenges for each theme every year are fun and inspire me to try new ideas. Meg: I love making quilts for Alliance contests because they challenge me to try new techniques and styles, and I know that they’ll be archived online permanently in the amazing Quilt Index (which makes it easier to give them away to strangers). Lisa: I wish to support an organization whose mission I believe in. I have always been drawn to the stories expressed in quilts. The Quilt Alliance mission to capture these stories in perpetuity is important to me.   As a collector, what motivates you to buy a quilt? Allie: If I really love it and am inspired by it and want to live with it! Meg: I buy quilts that dazzle me and I buy quilts by iconic quilters whose work I want to own, including Luke Haynes, Pamela Allen, Yvonne Porcella, Jamie Fingal and Sue Nickels (all of whom have contributed quilts to the Alliance contests.) Lisa: I love to decorate my spaces with quilts and appreciate being surrounded by artwork created by other artists. Their ideas and creativity inspire me.   Contact the Artists Allie Aller Meg Cox Lisa Ellis   Thank you, Allie, Meg and Lisa, for sharing your quilt story and for donating many gorgeous quilts to our annual auction! Bid on the 2016 “Playing Favorites” quilts in our online silent auction, now through Monday, December 5 at 9pm EST on www.BenefitBidding.com/quiltalliance.   Posted by Amy Milne Executive Director, Quilt Alliance…

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Annual Quilt Auction Is Underway!

The Quilt Alliance presents a contest, exhibition and auction of small wall quilts every year. This key fundraiser supports our mission of documenting, preserving and sharing the history of quilts and their makers, and is an important opportunity to showcase and record the work of quilters in the U.S. and all over the world.Thank you to all of the artists who entered and donated a quilt (or quilts!) to the 10th annual Quilt Alliance contest! The “Playing Favorites” quilts will be auctioned in two one-week groups: Group 1 starts November 14 at 9:00 AM EST ends November 21 at 9:00 PM EST Group 2 starts November 28 at 9:00 AM EST ends December 5   at 9:00 PM EST Preview and Bid on the 2017 Auction…

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Honoring our Veterans

This veteran’s day, we’re sharing two quilts that honor veterans in very different ways. One honors a generation of soldiers through documents and photographs, and the other is a quilt for a single serviceman: a story of a son’s journey to Afghanistan and the quilt his mother made for him. We’re starting with a quilt from Carol Lyles Shaw. Here’s an excerpt from her 2009 interview with Karen Musgrave: Karen Musgrave (KM): This is Karen Musgrave and I am conducting a Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories interview with Carole Lyles Shaw. Carole is in Columbia, Maryland and I’m in Naperville, Illinois so we are conducting this interview over the telephone. Today’s date is January 18, 2009. It is now 10:55 in the morning. Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview with me. Tell me about your quilt “War and Freedom: African Americans Veterans Hail the Commander-in-Chief, #2.” Carole Lyles Shaw (CLS): Thank you Karen, I’m thrilled to be talking about this particular art quilt this particular weekend, what could be more fitting just two days before the inauguration. This quilt is part of a series of quilts and other mixed media art work that I am creating to honor the memories of ordinary men and women who served in the American Armed Forces, particularly in the early part of the 20th Century and most of the work features images and documents and so forth from 1960 or earlier. I do have some work that will also focus on Vietnam and etc. that will be coming in later work. This particular quilt is scheduled to be in an exhibit that will go up in February 2009 and the exhibit [“President Obama: A Celebration in Art Quilts,” will be from February 9 to March 5, 2009 in the main gallery (King Street Gallery) of the Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Arts Center, Silver Spring, Maryland.] was organized by Sue Walen who had made a quilt documenting or celebrating the inauguration of Barack Obama and then decided in November 2008 to see if she could quickly organize a quilt show because she knew other people were doing similar kinds of works. Miraculously she was able to make that happen and I was one of the people who helped her reach out to people and so forth. This particular piece I actually did not have in progress when she called me. I was doing another piece that I will talk about later on in the interview. But I said, ‘Yes, I will make a piece for this show. I think it is important to have as much art work celebrating this moment in history as possible.’ Now the piece itself is not in any way a portrait of Barack Obama. In fact in this piece, there is no image of him. For me as an artist, what I wanted to do in the art works that celebrate the inauguration is mark the transitional importance and the transformative importance of his election, of his whole candidacy and its meaning to this particular group of African American men and women. People who served in the Armed Forces in the 1940’s and even the 1930’s in some cases are still alive and watching this. Either they are going to come to [Washington.] D.C. and celebrate it as some of the Tuskegee Airmen might do or they will watch it like the rest of us on our TVs warm in our homes on Tuesday. I really wanted to show that there was a group of men and women who would salute Barack Obama as the Commander and Chief of the Armed Forces, which is of course one of his Constitutional roles. In this piece, it is a very dense and content and image rich quilt. It is not very big. It is about 36 inches by 40 inches. What I’ve done is I’ve transferred photographs onto fabric and some of these photographs are from my family collection that I have of my father, my uncles and some of their friends. I have a letter that was sent by the White House to my father thanking him for his service in the Armed Forces and that letter dates to probably the late forties or early fifties. I found the actual letter in my grandmother’s house when I cleaned it out after her death. I had photographs of that type but then I’ve been scouring eBay for a couple of years now buying photographs and documents and metals and I even have a uniform and these are all memorabilia from African American families that have just been tossed away and someone found them when someone’s estate was being cleared out or whatever and they are selling this stuff on eBay and most of it was really, really inexpensive. I have a lot of photographs and I have letters that people sent to their families and their medals and all kinds of things, so I’ve selected a few of those photographs and they are also on this quilt as photo transfers onto fabric. Then I also have some memorabilia and words and so forth that are about the election. I have the absentee ballot that I sent in. A copy of it of course since the original was filed, but I made a copy of it because I was thinking about, ‘You know, I want to keep this some how,’ and I have a copy of my ballot in this quilt. I have some newspaper headlines. One that says ‘Obama Makes History’ and I have words like ‘freedom’ and ‘on the wings of hope’ and the word ‘vote’ and an image of the map of the mall where the swearing in will take place and the presidential parade and so you see a glimpse of that in this quilt. Then I also have a copy of the presidential order signed by Harry Truman in 1948 that desegregated the Armed Forces. I happen to have been born in 1948 so in my lifetime literally we moved from a legally segregated army to a desegregated army although for many years there was still lots and lots of discrimination and limitations of roles that African American men and women could play. I downloaded the first page of Truman’s executive order and I superimposed over that these words, ‘They fought and died for American freedom before they had their own’ and those words, those are my words and to me it just captures once again the honorable service that African Americans have given since the Revolutionary War obviously, even though at the time of the Revolutionary War we were still enslaved legally. Following the Civil War we were legally free but not full citizens. That took many, many more years to happen, and now we have an African American supported by Americans of all colors and walks of life who will be inaugurated into the White House in a couple of days. Some of the words on my quilt are ‘land of liberty’ and ‘stars and stripes’ and ‘on the path to change. Those words, those themes are what I wanted to convey. It is a narrative quilt, a story quilt almost but you’ve got to kind of read it slowly to get the full story. The last piece of documentation that is on here is a copy of the program for the March on Washington [D.C.] at which Dr. Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speak and there is a copy of that in this quilt as well. There is a lot of stuff here, personal history, history of people of names I will probably never know because these were just photographs and other memorabilia I bought on eBay. When I was invited to this show as well as to another Obama quilt show which is up right now in Washington, D.C., at first I was thinking, ‘What am I going to do? What will be the message I want to convey?’ I wanted to do something that would link the past to the present and point towards a different future. I knew I didn’t want to do an Obama portrait and I didn’t want to do anything that really just repeated the now familiar iconography that we see everywhere in terms of Obama memorabilia. I wanted to do something that was much more personal and thoughtful about our history as a country and the honor and service and hope that African Americans have had all their lives and throughout the history of this country. I think I will pause there for a moment. KM: Before we talk about the other quilt, #1, [“War and Freedom: African American Veterans Hail the Commander-in-Chief, #1.”] what are your plans for this quilt? CLS: I hope that the show will also travel and go to other venues along with the other quilts in the show, not just my quilt. Beyond that, I have another piece in this whole series that is about African American women that are in the service, not about the inauguration but it is part of the War, Honor, Freedom series that is already traveling in a show. My hope is that this, these pieces along with some of the other mixed media pieces that I’ve done on African American veterans and their service, that some day I will have a show with all of those pieces in the show. I’ve done an artist book already and I’m thinking about doing a second book that I would actually print in a larger series. That book I would take sections or portions of each of these quilts and other pieces and write an essay essentially illustrated by shots from the various quilts and the other art work to really tell the story in my own words and what it means to me, but that is a longer term project. KM: Tell me about “War and Freedom: African American Veterans Hail the Commander-in-Chief, #1.” CLS: Sure. #1 is the quilt that I started when I was invited by Roland Freeman with the assistance of Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi [exhibit “Quilts for Obama: Celebrating the Inauguration of our 44th President,” at the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. from January 11 to January 31, 2009.]. Roland, almost at the same time as Sue Walen, decided to mount a show of Obama Inauguration celebration quilters in [Washington.] D.C. and he was able to secure the [Washington.] D.C. Historical Society building. His show was opened the second week of January, so it is up during the inauguration which is, of course, very thrilling. This piece has the same type of imagery and in fact some of the same images are in both quilts. The first quilt focuses more on the veteran and less on the inauguration event itself. There is no map of the inauguration, etc. I do have some relevant words on it. One of the patches in this quilt is a transcription of the Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution which says the President shall be Commander and Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States and all the militia of the various states, etc. That is in this quilt surrounded by some fabric that’s wavy red, white and blue flags, the American flags. Another large patch in this quilt brings the service of women veterans a little bit more prominently. I have a couple of photographs, one from the sixties, more Vietnam era and one from World War II and over it I’ve got the letters transcribed that say, ‘She’s a soldier of the U.S.A.’ Now that is playing off another patch in this quilt. I bought some old sheet music, really old sheet music and on the front of the sheet music you see some soldiers marching carrying flags, U.S. flags, and the title of the song is ‘He’s a Soldier of the U.S.A.’ and I often in these works will play on ‘He’s a Soldier of the U.S.A.’ and ‘She’s a Soldier of the U.S.A.’ African American women have not seen the kind of attention, as people talk about the history of African Americans in the military, so I’m trying to bring that history a little bit more to the forefront. I have from very precious memorabilia from women soldiers that was really hard to find but once again I found it all on eBay. There was also another piece of African American military history that I have in this quilt that is about women. There was a woman whose name, there is some dispute about her name but generally she is known as Cathay Williams who served as a man. She was an African American woman who disguised herself as a man and actually enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Civil War. She served for about two years before she became ill and was injured and was mustered out in 1868. It wasn’t discovered who she was, or that she was a woman until she applied for her pension many years later and then it was discovered that she was not a man, William Café, which is how she enlisted but she was Cathay Williams, a woman and there were other women that we know who served in the Civil War and disguised themselves as boys or young men and enlisted. There are probably more that we will never know because they died or they mustered out and no one ever knew. She is one that has been documented so it is known. These two pieces have similar imagery. The letter with my father’s picture is also in this piece. I don’t always have him in all the work but I usually have him or my uncle, something from one of them in the work because it was finding my uncle’s selective service card and the letter from my father and my father’s pictures of him in uniform and his friends, my uncles pictures who was in the emergent marines, finding that material in my grandmother’s house just sparked something in me as an artist. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it when I found it and it took a few years for it to come to the forefront and come back to life and become part of my art work. These two pieces are related. I don’t think I’m going to do another inauguration quilt, I think I’m done and I think I have several mixed media pieces on the inauguration so I think my inauguration series is done. That is good. [laughs.] I had fun doing them and I can’t wait for the quilts to come back home so I can see them again. I miss them. [laughs.]   Our second quilt comes from Pam Neil. When Pam’s son Scott was deployed to Afghanistan after September 11, 2001, she decided to make a quilt for him and add one square for every day he was gone. Scott’s children, friends and extended family wrote messages on each block, which grew, square by square, each day Scott was gone. Pam shared the quilt in a 2009 Q.S.O.S. interview: Well, the name of this quilt is “Scott’s Victory Quilt”and he named it sort of tongue in cheek. When the events of September 11, 2001 occurred, Scott was in the Army Special Forces and he was a first responder to Afghanistan after those attacks in New York. I told him that it was more danger than we knew he had ever been in before knowing that he was going to Afghanistan. I think the country in general was in shock during that time and we just didn’t know what to expect with his going over there. But because of that I said, ‘Scott, I really don’t know what to do to help you, but I’m going to make a quilt while you’re gone. We’ll put a block in it for every day you’re gone so that you will know without a doubt that we thought about you every single day and that we did not just become complacent about your being over there.’ We chose to do this quilt as a memory quilt and we used Pigma markers to actually write messages on the blocks each day. The pattern is a half square triangle, a very simple quiltmaking pattern. The construction method or technique is called quilt-as-you-go [all three layers are sewn at once.] and while I developed the specific construction plan for this quilt, I’m pretty sure I was influenced at the time by a book written by Georgia Bonesteel. And I forget the name of her book, but it was a book about quilt-as-you-go methods. The blocks I did by machine and we wrote messages on the blocks and then all the quilting was done by hand and then each block was added day by day and row by row. We chose to start the blocks in the center of the quilt and then we added the rows in a clockwise fashion around to build out from the center and the reason we did that was because we didn’t know how long Scott was going to be deployed. He could have been deployed 2 years. He could have been deployed 2 months or God forbid, he could have been gone 2 weeks and come home in a box. We just really did not know how big this quilt was gonna be so we started in the center. The quilt is almost a play by play of the war and in many cases it documents things that were going on in the family like his dad’s 60th birthday, his brother being deployed in the Navy reserves and there was even a proposal of marriage documented in this quilt. It was signed by his children, his siblings, his cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and a couple of strangers that he didn’t even know that were friends of the family. There are even some secret messages in this quilt that some people wrote on the seams of the quilt and I’ve never told Scott where they are or what they say. I only told him that someday I might tell him. It just really documents a whole lot that was going on in our lives. That first deployment Scott was only gone 6½ months and he’s fine. I should say that he did come home and he was gone about 6½ months for that deployment but a couple of weeks before he was due to come home, he was able to let us know that and so we planned the edges of the quilt. The borders we actually sent out to California to his grandmother, who is Lucille, my mother-in-law. She quilted those and sent them back and they became part of the quilt too and then the top and bottom borders that you’ll see were actually signed by people who came to his coming home party when he got home. And because we had done it in a quilt as you go fashion, the quilt was done just a couple of weeks after he came home even though it was all hand quilted. If I had made the quilt top and then quilted it after the fact, he would have had to wait for it probably 6 months or more. Pam also recorded an audio ‘postscript’, sharing a bit about Scott and the quilt since her interview in 2009, and how this quilt provided comfort in a difficult…

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Inspired Giving: Meet Maude Wallace Haeger

The Quilt Alliance launched its first quilt contest in 2007 with several goals in mind. One goal was to raise funds to support the Alliance’s move from Louisville, Kentucky to our present home in Asheville, North Carolina. We also wanted to establish this fundraiser as an annual intiative to provide ongoing operating support. Another aim was to document the work of our members by taking a “snapshot” of quilts made in a particular year. QA board members Karen Musgrave and the late Yvonne Porcella set out to make the contest friendly to all quilters, whether they identified as longarmers, hand quilters, modern quilters… or simply artists. With this in mind, they crafted an open-ended theme that anyone could speak to, and that tradition has continued. This year marks the Alliance’s 10th annual contest. Quilt Alliance quilt contests from 2007-2016 2007: Put a Roof Over Our Head 2008: My Quilts/Our History 2009: Crazy for Quilts 2010: New from Old 2011: Alliances: People, Patterns, Passion 2012: Home Is Where the Quilt Is 2013: TWENTY 2014: Inspired By 2015: Animals We Love 2016: Playing Favorites Quilt Alliance member Maude Wallace Haeger is one of the artists who created and donated a small house-shaped quilt (“Casa del Sol”) for our first contest back in 2007. She entered again in 2008, donating four quilts (that worked separately, or as a multi-paneled piece) for the Crazy for Quilts theme. This year, Maude entered our Playing Favorites contest. You can see her quilt along with all of the 2017 contest quilts here. In this innaugural post in our new series, Inspired Giving, I asked Maude to tell her story. During the school year my main job is special education teacher to students in an inner city school, but I am an artist no matter what I am doing and where I am. I try very hard to keep weekends for art work, but it is not a hobby to me, it is what I am driven to do – create. Cooking is a hobby – art is not a hobby. It is often hard work and can require a lot of energy and concentration, so I do not consider it relaxing, but I do enjoy it. I grew up in Urbana, Illinois, the child of two artist parents. From a very early age I found cloth, thread and needle the best way to work artistically or at least creatively. I would make things and then show my mother who would take my hands in hers and with tears in her voice say, “your grandmother would be so proud of you.” My maternal grandmother and great grandmother were both seamstresses, and my great grandfather was an itinerant tailor who, with his wife and children went from wealthy Russian house to wealthy house and sewed the clothes for the family. It is in the genes. My favorite things to do as a child were to look through the costume section of the World Book Encyclopedia and recreate the ethnic costumes for my Barbie doll. I didn’t ever really play with the doll, just made “couturier” clothes for her. I loved to embroider and did so for hours. I took art though all of high school, and my teacher would enter all of her students in the Scholastic Art show each year. I got my share of ribbons and pins, and did actually get the Hallmark purchase prize for a watercolor I did as a senior. But one could not get the purchase prize for textile work. This upset me, because even back in high school I felt that fiber art was just as much an art form as painting and drawing. One day at a University of Illinois faculty art exhibition, I was sitting on the stairs of the Krannert Art Museum watching all the people looking at the show. One of my parent’s friends and fellow art professor, Jack Baker, stopped to talk to me. I told him I wasn’t as much of an artist because I couldn’t paint and draw as well as I could create with thread and cloth. He told me that my stylus was a needle and that was as much a stylus as a pencil, pen or paintbrush! Through high school my medium of choice was embroidery. I struggled with what to do in college, but eventually found Eastern Illinois University where I was able to minor in crafts – weaving and finally graduated with a bachelor’s in weaving. It was after we adopted four hard-to-place children thirty years ago that I switched from weaving to piecing, and have never regretted it. My first piece for the Quilt Alliance was created the year that they were putting a roof on the new building in Asheville. I had fun making “Casa del Sol.” At this point in my life I cannot spend the time I did as a teenager to hand embroider anything, but I have been learning how to use the machine stitching to advantage. My entry for the Quilt Alliance contest this year, “Go Fish,” was inspired by a quilt I began for a different exhibition but never got to enter due to family, health and students! However, I have included a picture of what became the center of a much larger quilt. These gold fish are swimming in a pond in the center of a garden. It was my first time using Solvy and creating such intricate embroidery with a machine. The wonderful thing about quilt making is the scraps. I do not throw out many of them either. They just keep piling up in another plastic container and end up on a shelf. Then I take time to try to make an orderly arrangement of them and sew them together. In this next picture you see houses made of flower scraps. I have put a slide of how the houses look without all the thread work and how it changes them after I have stitched and stitched. Jack Lenor Larsen stated that if one wants a red piece of cloth to really be “rich in color” one has to have one warp thread be red and one be orange. This reminded me of all those wonderful Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings at the Chicago Art Institute. The observer’s eyes mix the color! I use that premise a lot in my work. In the detail view, you see an unfinished quilt square of some of the houses with layers of embroidery and net. I worked so hard on the piece I stripped the gears of my 28 year old Bernina! I have not finished the piece because I am waiting for the correct machine to complete them. I have titled this piece “Casas de Flores!”. As previously stated, throwing out cloth is not easy for me. In this piece you see navy blue and green in the background which was a motif I created years ago. It could have “stood on its own” as a piece, but I was not comfortable with it as it was. After a lot of thinking and experimentation, I saw a way to combine the original quilt with the new scraps and make a type of repeated design which became the cloth part of the quilt. I then used different thread sizes and colors to attach the scraps and to add textural interest and depth to the piece. Whether my work looks semi-traditional at times or very abstract, my hope is that my love of color and design will give joy to the observer. –Maude Wallace Haeger           Thank you, Maude, for sharing your quilt story and for donating many gorgeous quilts to our annual auction! Bid on Maude’s quilt “Go Fish!” along with the other “Playing Favorites” quilts in our 2016 online silent auction, beginning November 14 on www.QuiltAlliance.org. The theme and guidelines for our 2017 Quilt Alliance contest will be announced in January 2017. Stay tuned! Posted by Amy Milne Executive Director, Quilt Alliance…

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QTM Blog Hop Winner Announcement

Last week we launched our very first blog hop. Our stellar list of bloggers did a fantastic job to raise awareness of our annual fundraising event, Quilters Take Manhattan (QTM) and the Quilt Alliance mission. The QA Blog’s giveaway winner is:  Denneen (Denny) Peterson! Because the Quilt Alliance is all about documenting, preserving and sharing the stories of quilts and their makers, I asked Denny to tell us her story. Denny Peterson and her husband Bill Meek I live in Sahuarita, Arizona. My husband and I belong to the Tucson Quilters Guild. We also have a small group of quilting friends who get together at each other’s homes approximately monthly to work on quilts, visit, and eat! My mother and husband quilt, too. My mother taught me to sew and she started quilting after I did. She makes some of the most wonderful colorful quilts!  My husband was surrounded by fabric and sewing machines and went along with me to sew days for years before he started by quilting a table runner for my mother on my Bernina. Now he designs and makes his own quilts and does quilting for others on his longarm (a power tool for fabric, you know). I make all kinds of quilts that you can make on the machine–traditional and contemporary pieced and applique are on the list, but my current favorites are art quilts depicting buildings, animals, and landscapes. We attend local area quilt shows, including the Tucson Quilt Fiesta and the Valley Quilters Guild show (Green Valley, Arizona). We also attend Road to California most years. Last year my husband and I were Artists in Residence at Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site in Ganado, Arizona and at Petrified Forest National Park near Holbrook, Arizona. We spent two weeks living in historic housing at each location, gathering inspiration, designing and making quilts, meeting with park visitors to talk about quilting, the AIR program, and the parks; and then we made quilts to give to the park in exchange for housing and access to the parks. Here is a photo of my husband Bill Meek and me with a quilt (Shared Heritage) that we made as a result of our stay at Petrified Forest. That quilt has an informative label! Thanks again so very much!   A list of all QTM Blog Hop Participants and links to their posts can be found here.   Didn’t win? 🙁 Good news! You can support the Quilt Alliance and enjoy Quilters Take Manhattan from home by purchasing a QTM Moda Home Ticket today. Purchase your Home Ticket here. The QTM Moda Home Ticket provides a chance for those who can’t make it to the Big Apple to experience their own home slice of the event. Home Tickets cost $35 ($30 for QA members). You will receive the QTM Goody Bag, packed with samples and treats from all of our sponsors, by mail in late September, Home Ticket holders will also receive priority access to online video of our Sunday with Sponsors event (sent via email link 2 weeks after event), and are entered to win select door prizes. Please note: this year’s Home Ticket will not include footage of QTM lectures and interviews due to the prohibitive cost. Home Ticket holders play an important role in supporting the work of the Alliance–thank you!                         Posted by Amy Milne Executive Director, Quilt Alliance…

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QTM Blog Hop Begins: Win Here Today!

Today we launch our very first blog hop! We have a stellar list of blogs (see list below) to help us raise awareness of our annual fundraising event, Quilters Take Manhattan (QTM) and the Quilt Alliance mission. To win a QTM Moda Home Ticket via this blog, please leave a comment about why you’d like to win. We’ll pick a winner at midnight tonight (9/5 at 12pm EDT) and post it at the close of the Hop. (Other hosts will give instructions on how to win in their giveaway.) Also visit today for your chance to win: Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD Pat Sloan AccuQuilt   The QTM Moda Home Ticket provides a chance for those who can’t make it to the Big Apple to experience their own home slice of the event. Value of $35 ($30 for QA members). Winners of the Moda Home Ticket will receive by mail in late September a QTM Goody Bag, packed with samples and treats from all of our sponsors, and a chance to win select door prizes. Home Ticket holders will also receive priority access to online video of our Sunday with Sponsors event (sent via email link 2 weeks after event). Please note: this year’s Home Ticket will not include footage of QTM lectures and interviews due to the prohibitive cost. Home Ticket holders play an important role in supporting the work of the Alliance–thank you! Drawings are open to all, but international winners are responsible for any customs fees that may be charged when shipment enters their country.                       Visit the QTM Blog Hop page for full details. Schedule of Participating Blogs Day 1 – Monday, September 5 Quilt Alliance Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD Pat Sloan AccuQuilt Day 2 – Tuesday, September 6 Victoria Findlay Wolfe @VFW Quilts Erin Sampson – Aurifil @Auribuzz Freespirit Fabric Heather Jones@Heather Jones Studio Day 3 – Wednesday, September 7 Moda Fabrics @Moda Cutting Table Denyse Schmidt on Instagram @dsquilts Debbie Jeske @A Quilter’s Table Day 4 – Thursday, September 8 Jacquie Gering @tallgrass prairie studio Jessica Skultety @Quilty Habit Gotham Quilts @Fabric Nerd Handi Quilter Day 5 – Friday, September 9 Kim Niedzwiecki @my go-go life Leslie Tucker Jenison John Kubiniec @Big Rig Quilting   Good luck, everyone! We hope to see you on our blog today and in the Big Apple for Quilters Take Manhattan in September 2017!   Posted by Amy Milne Executive Director, Quilt Alliance…

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Quilters Take Manhattan Blog Hop Starts Monday

Next week we launch our very first blog hop! We are thrilled to have the leadership of Quilt Alliance member and volunteer Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD on this venture, as we set out to raise awareness of our annual fundraising event, Quilters Take Manhattan (QTM) and the Quilt Alliance mission. Our QTM Blog Hop will include 18 different stops (see list and schedule below–you’ll be blown away by this stellar list!), including our own blog (Monday, Sept. 5). Visit any (and all) of the blogs on their day and you’ll have a chance to win a QTM Moda Home Ticket. Each host will give instructions on how to win in their giveaway. Visit the QTM Blog Hop page for full details on how to participate.     The QTM Moda Home Ticket provides a chance for those who can’t make it to the Big Apple to experience their own home slice of the event. Value of $35 ($30 for QA members). Winners of the Moda Home Ticket will receive a QTM Goody Bag, packed with samples and treats from all of our sponsors, and a chance to win select door prizes. Home Ticket holders will also receive priority access to online video of our Sunday with Sponsors event (sent via email link 2 weeks after event). Please note: this year’s Home Ticket will not include footage of QTM lectures and interviews due to the prohibitive cost. Home Ticket holders play an important role in supporting the work of the Alliance–thank you! Drawings are open to all, but international winners are responsible for any customs fees that may be charged when shipment enters their country.                     Schedule of Participating Blogs Day 1 – Monday, September 5 Quilt Alliance Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD Pat Sloan AccuQuilt Day 2 – Tuesday, September 6 Victoria Findlay Wolfe @VFW Quilts Erin Sampson – Aurifil @Auribuzz Freespirit Fabric Heather Jones@Heather Jones Studio Day 3 – Wednesday, September 7 Moda Fabrics @Moda Cutting Table Denyse Schmidt on Instagram @dsquilts Debbie Jeske @A Quilter’s Table Day 4 – Thursday, September 8 Jacquie Gering @tallgrass prairie studio Jessica Skultety @Quilty Habit Gotham Quilts @Fabric Nerd Handi Quilter Day 5 – Friday, September 9 Kim Niedzwiecki @my go-go life Leslie Tucker Jenison John Kubiniec @Big Rig Quilting   Good luck, everyone! We hope to see you on our blog on Monday and in the Big Apple for Quilters Take Manhattan in September 2017! Posted by Amy Milne Executive Director, Quilt Alliance…

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Thank you, Quilters Newsletter Magazine

Since 1993, the Quilt Alliance has been committed to documenting, preserving, and sharing the stories of quilts and quiltmakers. We care about keeping quiltmaking alive, but also celebrating its history. We shared this passion with Quilters Newsletter Magazine, the grandmother of all quilt magazines, in print since Bonnie Leman began the publication as a black and white newsletter produced out of her home in 1969. We at the Quilt Alliance were saddened to hear that F+W, the magazine’s parent company, announced that the magazine would cease publication. I admittedly don’t read all the quilt magazines. But QNM was one I paid attention to in large part because it cared about quilt history. It regularly published features that celebrated quilt heritage, quilt documentation projects, museum exhibitions, and summaries of quilt scholarship. The magazine, like the Quilt Alliance, perceived the stories of the quilts and quiltmakers of the past as integral to quiltmaking’s future. I was lucky enough to publish a few times in QNM, and always felt honored that a popular publication with large and faithful readership would feature articles by a historian like me. And that’s part of QNM’s legacy. QNM is part of our shared quilt history which the Quilt Alliance aims to preserve. The magazine was instrumental in the late twentieth-century quilt revival, not just through its publication, but through its outreach into the burgeoning world of quilt enthusiasts and its leadership in the quilt industry.  For example, QNM sent a touring Quiltmobile around the country in 1976, exhibiting quilts and teaching quilting, which no doubt helped fuel the quiltmaking excitement surrounding the American Bicentennial (we here at the Quilt Alliance are inspired by this… we’ve had our eye out for a camper to drive around the country recording quilt stories). These stories are worth saving, but we can’t do it alone. In 2002, Quilt Treasures—a partner project of the Quilt Alliance, Michigan State University Museum, and Matrix, the Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences at MSU—interviewed Bonnie Leman. Our partners created a mini-documentary and web portrait, but the technology supporting this presentation is out of date. watch an excerpt of Bonnie recalling the origins of Quilters Newsletter from her Quilt Treasures portrait.[space height=”10″]

[space height=”10″] Like Quilt Treasures, our oral history project Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories (QSOS) is now in need of conversion to a new platform, so we can continue to fulfill our mission of not only documenting, but also preserving and sharing quilt stories. Please join us as a member today or make a donation. Consider it a subscription to our mission, one that requires fuel and tending to document and sustain our community for years to come. We hope you can help. Posted by Janneken Smucker President of the Board of Directors, Quilt Alliance…

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