Thursday, March 27, 2008

Judy Breneman Quilt Article in Textbooks

Congratualtions to quilt history enthusiast and historian, Judy Breneman, who has been honored with a request from a major educational book publisher, HoughtonMifflin Company, to include one of her website's articles in their 2008 print and audio learning program for the 10th grade.

Imagine yourself receiving an email from a publisher you have not had contact with. You read it and see they are referencing an article you originally wrote 10 years ago (and have updated a few times) about African-American Quilting. What?..... they want to put it into their elementary school textbook literature, audio and in print, for 10th graders? They are requesting nonexclusive rights and will pay you! This just happened to my girlfriend and website publishing buddy, Judy Breneman.

Judy writes three quilt history websites, and is the website on which the publisher found her article. You can read the full article "African-American Quilting: A Long Rich Heritage" at They shortened it for their purposes, but it's not short.

Her other two websites are Quilt Patterns Through Time and America's Quilting History She writes on many different events in our quilting heritage past, about quilts and their makers, offers free patterns and gives the origins of the block, and so much more.

Judy was early to the website publishing world, late 1990s. She had been an elementary school teacher, but illness prevented her from continuing the demanding job of working with children. She turned to the internet to teach. It was a couple of years after, in 2000, that I met her online via the Quilt History List. She posted info about her website and said she'd help anyone who wanted to start one. I did not have a clue what I was getting into at the time, but I wrote her and she encouraged me to go for it and I did, but I couldn't have done any of it without Judy's help. Not just at the beginning, but through the years she has mentored me in the mechanics of websites, Google, meta this and that, Adsense and Amazon. Judy finds this interesting and challenges herself to improve all aspects of her websites as new ways become available.

As luck would have it, she received the publication invitation a couple of days after she had purchased a gorgeous leather jacket at an Art Fair near her home in southern Arizona. She bought it on a whim and was about to take it back, purely out of guilt, when the contract and request arrived. The amount they paid her just covered the cost of the jacket. How cool is that! As Judy told me "This was just blind luck for me. Like money falling from the sky." After all Judy has given to the quilt history community over the past 10 years, she certainly earned it, and the honor of having her words teach young students about quilting in the Africa-American community.

We can all rejoice in knowing that textbook publishers are including quilts and quilting in their textbooks, and that women's daily life activities are being included in their literature programs. Oh, lest I forget, the first edition is 500,000 copies, audio and print, for worldwide distribution. They said they'd contact her again for any further editions.

May this be evidence to all of us putting our words online, it is worthwhile. Women are always making history!


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Indigo & White Applique Quilt

Mia K. is sharing her beautiful indigo and white appliqué quilt in hopes of getting information from readers. She shared this info:

" The pattern I have learned is known as "Lover's
knot" or Oak Leaf and the border is made up of weeping willows and love birds facing each other with a blue vine serpentining around the border with curlicues. All of it is beautifully quilted with 10-12 stitches to the inch and it fits over my queen size bed with plenty of room."

" I believe it to be from the 1800 but it has no wear on it or the binding. As you might see, the blues are not solid and I have found 4 different patterned blues. The white is more cream colored like unbleached muslin. Purchased in our town from a man who inherited it from an antique dealer who told him it was the best she ever owned and she told him the age to be 100 to 150 years old. I have searched dozens of books and web sites and have never seen this border pattern any where. I collect blue willow patterned English china and it reminds me of it.Can you help me? I would love to explore its origins and age."

My first impression was that this quilt copied a woven coverlet pattern precisely because of the willow tree and bird border. I would date it to the 2nd or 3rd quarter, 19th century, made in the northeastern US, such as NY, PA, VT, or MA. Mia since said it was bought in an antique shop in Roscoe, NY, and sold to them by a man from Livingston Manor, NY. Roscoe is in the foothills of the Catskills. I'd say this narrows it down to a NY quilt, which produced many indigo and white applique quilts.
The main block is Oak Leaf and Reel. Is it a lover's quilt, perhaps for a wedding, if indeed those are love birds? Willow trees are often associated with mourning and grief, but this quilt just doesn't imply that to me, the willows are not sad looking...but maybe this is not the case?

I would also love to receive any links to photos of woven coverlets with this same overall pattern and border. Post them, won't you?

Thank you Mia!


Yuwa Fabrics

Many people have emailed me since I posted info about Yuwa fabric , asking how they can get in touch with the company. They have prooved hard to find. Thanks to Patty H.,a thread has been found.

Patty writes "I was Googling Yuwa to see their newest fabric and found the same results..Nothing..
I m a designer and I have purchased many Yuwa Fabrics..the only contact you can really make with them is generally at Spring or Fall Markets...I do have an email address however and perhaps this will be of some help.

U.S Distributor: Kowa American Corp
20001 S. Vermont Avenue
Torrence, CA 90502

If you want to read more about the fabric line generating these questions - and click on Reminiscence


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Ricky Tims, art quilter, on TV News

The CBS News Sunday Morning program with Charles Osgood will be featuring a segment on quilting. It is scheduled to air this Sunday, March 16, 2008. Be sure to check your local listings for exact times. In CA it's on in the morning from 7AM to 8.

CBS News Sunday Morning features beautifully produced, personal human interest profiles. A portion of the program will feature the International Quilt Festival in Houston and a portion of the story will focus on Ricky Tims, his quilting and his music. All quilters and quilt industry professionals are urged to immediately notify friends, family, and quilters they know. Forward this message and use any other means possible to spread the word.

We also understand that the CBS news website will feature the profile on their website after the show airs so international people will have the opportunity to see it too.
Here is the link for the upcoming CBS News Sunday Morning: