Tuesday, December 8, 2009

American Quilts in a British Museum, New Book Shows Them to US!

Classic Quilts from The American Museum in Britain written by the curators of this wonderful museum in Bath England,  Laura Beresford and Katherine Hebert.

It was Katherine who contacted me earlier this summer, 2009, about the eagle quilt kit pictured in an article about eagle quilts that she had come across on my Antique Quilt Dating Guides website. I introduced her 9by email) to Madge Zeigler  owner of the kit, including the original packaging. The kit is by Paragon, titled American Eagle Quilt. It was first advertised in Woman's Day in the mid-1950s.

Katherine was about to put this book to bed when she saw this kit quilt and knew it looked like the one in Bath. The date-  '63 -is embroidered on the museum's quilt and due to the Federal period symbolism of the eagle in America, and the thirteen stars, swags and pots with flowers situated around its central placement. So they estimated it was likely made in 1763 or 1863, but frustratingly they couldn't say for certain. (How many of us have felt that feeling when it comes quilts we later find out were kits?)

She was thrilled to be able to validate that her quilt was indeed made with a Paragon Kit too, thanks to Madge's help of many pictures and the instructions.

In the book on pages 70-1 you will see stunning photography of the kit quilt and that the one in their collection was made in 1963. They write that this quilt pattern was based on a chintz version made in 1795. How fun is that!

Now I'll tell you a bit about the rest of the Classic Quilts book, but I know you will want it on your self if you love antique quilts.

There are very large detail photographs, including full page detail photos, as well as full views of the quilts. Quilting pattern and fabric prints are easily seen.

Sheila Betterton, formerly the textile and needlework specialist for the museum and largely responsible for getting this collection going at the America Museum, wrote the preface in 2008. Sadly, she passed away that same year. She began as a volunteer at the Museum in 1963. The book is dedicated to her.

BOOKcover02-v2 The book begins with the history of the Museum coming to be and who do you think influenced the founders Dr. Dallas Pratt and John Judkyn? None other than our own wonderwoman of quilts, Electra Havenmeyer Webb, who founded and filled The Shelburne Museum in Vermont. It's a small world. The chapter includes an overview of the development of textiles and quilts in America. From here to the end of the book, nearly every page has photographs.

The quilts shown include a wool whole cloth, wool applique, pieced chintz, appliqués of every type and era, Amish, BAQ (looks very much like on held in the Maryland Museum of Art's BAQ collection), signature quilts, presentation album quilt, a 1848 hexagon quilt with inked centers in the typical GFG rosette pattern, and many more truly gorgeous quilts totaling fifty-five.

Two of them may be expressing sentiments of the Temperance movement. One is a red and white Drunkard's Path which they titled as Robbing Peter to Pay Paul, made by a Congregational church in Oriskany Falls, NY. c. 1889. The other is the Tumbler pattern, appliqued in red on a white block on point set with alternate red blocks on point. It was made in Texas, c. 1860 at  Mimosa Hall Plantation in Marshall. They refer to it as The Chalice Quilt. The back is machine quilted and the quilting hand pattern is the fan or elbow stitch.  The size is 87"X75".

It is here that you may want to close your eyes as a brief rundown of the Underground Railroad quilt myth is described. They also mention the ongoing disagreement about the validity of the concept followed by this- "Although the decoration of this quilt does not conceal codes for the railroad's conductor's, it none the less contains a hidden message. The repeated motif of the chalice represents not only the bishop but also, more importantly, the freedom of a better world to come, after a life of blood and suffering." This was new to me. You?

The next page shows the Harrison log cabin and cider barrel toile that was used on the back of a chintz quilt. It is the biggest and best photograph of that monochrome I have ever seen in a book.

I highly recommend Classic Quilts from the American Museum in Britain The quilts chosen for the book clearly represent American styles and the true nature of our history of quilt making is evident. Many of the quilts are like those seen in our museums and books. It's really quite fun to read what they say. The pride they feel matches ours. It's all good.

Classic American Quilts will be on exhibit at the museum in Bath in 2010, 13 March – 31 October 2010


The American Museum in Britain
Claverton Manor
Bath.  BA2 7BD
Tel: 01225 460503 - Fax: 01225 469160

Reminder- this Thursday, Dec. 10, is my free telecasts on the Introduction to my workshop in January 2010 - 4 Ways to Access Your Guidance Within and the Bigger Vision for Your Life. Get call-in info here. 
(Scroll down to the box, fill in your name and email and the phone number and code will be sent in a few minutes. Check your spam file if you don't see it shortly.)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Open to your Creativity in my new Online Class- free Intro call this Thursday

I welcome you to join the Circle of Evolving Women to learn 4 WAYS TO ACCESS GUIDANCE WITHIN YOURSELF AND THE BIGGER VISION FOR YOUR LIFE.

Circle One- this Thursday, Dec.. 10, 5 PM Pacific, free introduction to the workshop series beginning in Jan. 2010. I'll explain the workshop, answer your questions, and I will give you a brief overview of my story of the last few years that led to the realization of these methods being the best way to find my life's meaning and living it each day totally alive in it, creatively, focused and joyful. You will be able to tell if this may be what you've been (perhaps unknowingly) wanting to have.

Circle Two: Mindfulness -
Define it and why you want it,
How leaders, teachers and other's experiences of it mean to their life,
How mindfulness accesses synchronicity and creativity to deepen your daily life
Experience it
Get tips on how to practice mindfulness during the week

Circle Three:  Meditation -
What is meditation
Effect on you physically/medical, psychologically/relaxation and spiritually/ connection to inner guidance/Source
Some ancient but still used methods described briefly
The simple steps to starting your own meditation practice, I.e. frequency, position, length of time
Experience a short guided meditation from my favorite teacher and share time.

Circle Four:  Journaling -
Defining it as I use it here for connection to inner guidance and moving forward
Describe several methods to use in various situations
How to set up your journaling practice
Experience the journaling process and share time

Circle Five:  Using Your Dreams -
Why bother to record and pay attention to your dreams
Learn an easy and grounded way to interpret them for yourself every time
Demonstrations of interpretation with this method using your recent dreams
How to set up your dream practice

Circle Six:  Intuition Flourishes
From there to here, looking at you from this new perspective,
Wrapping up your thoughts and remaining questions
Your next steps for moving on from here & facilitating the flourishing of your intuition

Optional Individual Circle -
To help you individually with your Evolving Women's Circle process, one private hour with me is available to you during the 5 weeks up to 2 weeks after it ends.

Please join me. For details and to get call-in information, http://tinyurl.com/yznl6tw  Start the new year off with an inner knowing that takes you where you can go. It's bigger and better than you are thinking it is now.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

NEW Signature Quilt Database is online now at The Quilt Index & Quilt and Antique Sewing Machine links you'll want to check out

I hope your thanksgiving was a blessed and joyful one with family, friends and quilts to keep you feeling good. The end of this fabulous year is nearly here. I have some opportunities coming to you in 2010 if you want to intensify the good in your life and live it to the fullest.

I've placed some links you might want to check out for your quilting pleasure below the fabulous news of the Signature Quilt database now online at The Quilt Index! WE thank you so much!

As you may have heard, the Quilt Index recently launched its expanded website, with more quilts, a new look, and new zoom and comparison tools.

One of the most compelling components of the expansion is the Signature Quilt Project (SQP). In all, 61 signature quilts were uploaded to the Index, surpassing our goal. In addition, QI staff identified more than 2,000 signature quilts that had already been added to the Index by contributing institutions.

They were categorized into themes for easy navigation-

The Beginnings of Signature Quilts: The 1840s Signature Quilts: Friendship and Family Signature Quilts and Westward Expansion The Golden Age of Signature Quilts, 1876-1910 Redwork Signature Quilts Community, Club, and Church: Public Signature Quilts Contemporary Signature Quilts Love to Wini: Signature Quilts for Healing and Comfort

You can find the Signature Quilt Project at http://www.quiltindex.org/signaturequiltproject.php. Here, you?ll find an essay, ?Researching Signature Quilts,? by Amanda Sikarskie, Marsha MacDowell, Karen Alexander and Nancy Hornback, a bibliography of recommended reading on signature quilts, and eight curated galleries that group the SQP public submission quilts thematically:

We have also created a special search page for signature quilts at http://www.quiltindex.org/signaturesearch.php. You can quickly browse all of the SQP public submission quilts by following the links.

We invite you to try using the Quilt Index?s new zoom tool with the signature quilts. A good one to try (because of the large file size of the original image) is the Jamestown First Baptist Church Quilt, contributed by Jane Evans Leonard, http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplaynew.php?kid=4-15-5C.

An interview with Merikay Waldvogel on Collector's Weekly, http://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/the-history-of-american-quiltmaking-an-interview-with-merikay-waldvogel-part-one/

I'm also including a link to our quilts page in case you haven't seen it:http://www.collectorsweekly.com/folk-art/quilts

Here's a clue to the last link I'll send today.

- September 25th, 2009 at 6:12 pm Lisa Said:
"I just listened to episode 2 and I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed it. I have never heard an interview quite like this on any quilting podcast. I loved hearing about quilting from a psychologist’s perspective. Quilting really does have healing powers!
Keep up the good work!"

This podcast interview was done by Marceli Botticelli, a mother, wife and an architect in Boston, who also loves quilt making and antique Singer sewing machines and their history. She requested an interview with me in the summer and was a joy. her lovely accent may fool you a bit. She is from Brazil originally but has lived all over. i was honored to be her first interview for this new blog.

http://wholelottasinger.blip.tv/posts?view=archive&nsfw=dc has episode 1 & 2 in blip TV or go to her blog http://wholelottasinger.wordpress.com/

That's all for now. Wish you each a pieceful week. I have some yummy DVD and Book reviews for you coming up and the other stuff I mentioned at the top. Love you all! Kim

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