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Quilters Find a way to care

01085

Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2001 22:14:04 -0500 

From: "Mary Voss" <voss@macatawa.org>   
On page 20 of the Dharma Trading Co. Spring /Summer Catalog they show a line of natural(plant ) dyes that include Indigo, Madder Root, Cochineal and many other natural dyes. The notation is that they come
From plants and bugs. They also list the book, The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing by J.N. liles for $17.95 Their toll free number is 800/542-5227. Hope this is the information you are looking for Phyllis. I just got the catalog last week and happen to notice this item. - Mary
From a chilly Holland, Michigan

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Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2001 22:47:45 EST
From: @aol.com   
I can vouch for both the book and the company. J.N. Liles is a chemist and re-enactor who redacted hundreds of natural dye recipes. His instructions are clear and reasonably easy to follow. As for Dharma Trading Company...their service is fast, and I was most pleased by the quality of the cochineal I ordered. Cochineal comes in the form of dried beetles that are ground to produce a wonderful magenta - just be sure to strain thoroughly through cheesecloth to avoid having bits 'o bugs in your dye bath. Also, be sure to get some alum if you want to try anything but indigo, since natural dyes usually require a separate mordant.... Karen Evans ---------

Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2001 22:11:00 -0600
From: Laura Hobby Syler <texas_quilt.co@airmail.net

Actually, the netting that is being discussed is Silk Crepeline (sp). Nancy Kirk at the Kirk Collection has carried it. If she doesn't have it, you can get it From Lacis in California. It is verrry pricey. If you have a good fabric store you can use silk bridal illusion. Stay away From the nylon tulle. Just like the polyester batting, it can eventually do more damage than nothing at all. Now, to play devils advocate. When restoring crazy quilts, sometimes the netting or crepeline will do no more than give you a repository for the little "shards" of fabric that are falling off. In restoration classes that we have had at the former QRS meetings, as well as those that I have conducted for VQTS, we have used the Upside down bandaid method, and done fusing. You have to be very careful as to the kind of fusible that you use. And it does take some practice to learn how and exactly where it is suitable for use. Some are very stiff and are not at all suitable. I've found the "fine fuse", again from the Kirk Collection to work well. Also, the very lightest weight Stitch Witchery on the little roll, supposedly to be used for hems works well. Aileen's Fusible are also soft. Hope this helps some. Laura   ---------

 Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001 07:39:08 EST
From: Tubeywooby@aol.com   
I have another quilt/first wife story I guess I should share (although am a little embarrassed). When my brother divorced his wife (she was the instigator), they had agreed that any belongings that came
From either family stayed with that party. My mother had made a quilt for Maria using vintage (30s) blocks and phenomenal multi-colored quilting (leaves quilted green, etc). I went to visit one weekend to help him get his apartment in order. The quilt was laying on his bed. I spent the night on this bed, and in the morning I took out a pin and tried to remove the "Maria" stitched into one border. I would have been successful, too, if the stitches weren't so dern tiny. When my brother remarried, he gave me the quilt because my mama didn't want it back (it made her sad). The next time she visited, she finished removing the Maria and quilted in her own initials. It now happily resides at my best friend's house. Embarrassed in Houston, Melissa of CrazyFolk   ---------

Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2001 14:27:17 -0600
From: Xenia Cord <xecord@netusa1.net>   
Newbie, this sounds like one of the wonderful designs
From Marion Cheever Whiteside. See Naida Treadway Patterson: Marion Cheever Whiteside Newton: Designer of Story Book Quilts, 1940-1965, in Uncoverings 1995 (vol. 16 of the Research Papers of the American Quilt Study Group), ed. Virginia Gunn. Among the stories she designed for applique are the Bridal Quilt (13 wedding customs From around the world), Little Women (15 story blocks. also available in 2 other formsts, with 9 or 12 blocks), Cinderella, Helen of Troy, Historic Lovers, Treasure Island, the Victorian Quilt, Wizard of Oz, and many, many nursery rhyme/Mother Goose stories.

 Xenia >> I absolutely love this type of quilts and would like to do more research on them. Any chance we could get a picture of this quilt or others posted to the list. Thanks Xenia for the reference to Undercoverings. Somewhere in my boxes of unpacked things is a pattern similar to this that I found in my Mom's sewing things. I believe it came From an order
From Ladies Home Journal. Toni B The Redwork Lady redworkldy@aol.com www.redworklady.com ---------

Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001 08:24:21 -0500
From: Judy White <jawhite@infi.net>   
Laura, what is the upside down bandaid method? Are you actually fusing? This is a new technique to me. Judy White - Ct ---------

Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001 09:28:50 -0600
From: Xenia Cord <xecord@netusa1.net>   
Toni, the Marion Cheever Whiteside Newton quilts have already been well researched in the AQSG article I mentioned. The article is complete with a list of all of the designs completed, where they appeared, and also some designs that were never finished (Marion was killed while crossing a street in New York). I am aware of a dealer in NYC who has three of these quilts for sale, and will give contact information (serious inquiries only) off list. Xenia And no, sorry, I don't have photos, and my guess is that the family still holds copyright to all of the designs. ---------

Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001 16:52:04 -0500
From: Newbie Richardson <pastcrafts@erols.com
Jan, I've worked on a boat load of "crazy" style quilts over the past 15 years. There is no "right way" to put the borders on. These were whimsical creations and makers used what they fancied - with in the fashion of the period. The early ones I've seen (c1880) seemed to have wide velvet,satin, or taffeta ribbon as borders. When yardage was used, then as little fabric was used as possible ie: no waste in the cutting. So each piece was cut with the cross grain. By that I mean that the border was cut From selvage edge to selvege end. Also, remember that this was a huge fad at the end of the 19th c. Many were started, but never finished. Just like the Dresden Plates and Grandmother's Flower Gardens of the 20's and 30's. I think that I am guilty of saving some unfinished cross stich projects...too good to throw out...same thing! So lets not get too anal about "staying true to the original intent of the maker". She is probably up in heaven, thrilled at the notion that the damn thing will finally get finished and appreciated! Cheers, Newbie ---------

Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001 17:08:20 -0500
From: Newbie Richardson <pastcrafts@erols.com> 
About 6 weeks ago, I posted the source for a netting that Winterthur's conservation lab is now using exclusively. It is English. I know the curator of textiles, Linda Eaton. Before being named curator, she was a conservator and trained in England and Scotland. If you look at bridal illusion veiling under a loop or a microscope you will see that there are hard plastic beads at the intersection of each crossed fiber. It is a highly heat set knotted net, which is extremely abrasive. I stopped using any veiling for conservation over 2 years ago when I saw the results of some re-examination of conserved textiles by the American Institute of Conservators (AIC). Bottom line they had been abraded by the veiling. I especially avoid using it on brittle silks, which are really delicate. The netting that Winterthur uses is also a nylon net. But it is a lightly heat set net of bobbin net construction which has no hard beads at the intersection of the fibers. This net has a soft hand and can be custom dyed using dyes for protein fibers. It has a slight stretch and conforms well to shapes. Order From: Dukeries Textiles and Fancy Goods, Ltd./ Melbourne Rd. 15A/West Bridgford, Nottingham/ England / +44 115 981 6330 I have no idea what it costs. I haven't had a project that I could write the trans-Atlantic phone call off to, yet! But I do know one thing. The research is there: do not use bridal illusion veiling if you care about the long term survival of any textiles! Newbie Richardson Past Crafts Studios Alexandria, Va ---------

Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001 17:22:54 -0500
From: Newbie Richardson <pastcrafts@erols.com> 
Shattered silk is the "thalidomide" of textiles! There is no way to stabilize it that is reversible. Think of crazy quilt patches as a pieces of stained glass that have shattered. Although together when flat, lift them up and gravity does a number on them. With that in mind, there is a way to conserve the appearance of shattered or split silk: archival bonding. Adhesives have come a very long way in the past 5 years. I use a product called "Fine Fuse" (the Kirk collection sells it) It is nylon filaments spun like a spider web. Place it between the silk and a backing fabric and press it with a warm iron and press cloth, it bonds to both fabrics. PERMANENTLY. The silk will not turn to powder. But you can not remove it From the backing, ever. The silk will retain the same drape, depending on that of the backing. I have used this technique on large embroidered Canton/Spanish/Piano scarves. I bond them to polyester chiffon. I have gotten great results. As I said, it is last ditch, is being used, tentatively, in some museums, but there is still a great deal of debate. Meanwhile, if the piece is a gonner anyway, I see nothing but good coming From using it! NOTE: this is not "Stitch Witchery" or a "glue". It is simply mono-filament nylon and therefore does not off any gas and is stable. Newbie Richardson ---------

Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001 19:09:39 -0600
From: "Jocelyn" <jsmartin@ukans.edu>   
Brenda, The UGRR was not limited to plantations. Here in Lawrence, there is a building that's now a fire station, that has been confirmed as having been a 'safe house'- actually, a stone barn. Many Quakers in the Northern states served as conductors, providing safe houses, directions and clothing. One of the most crucial needs of escaping slaves was for clothing that was typical of free blacks. Once dressed properly, slaves could generally 'pass' by remaining silent and letting someone else speak for them (since their dialects and vocabularies would reveal them to be recent slaves). I remember reading one account of a Quaker lady giving away all her own gloves, because no woman with any claim of gentility would have gone out in public without her gloves, and the ex-slaves' work-worn hands would have given them away in an instant as not being the wives of free men, as they were otherwise costumed to be. Properly dressed, they had a chance of blending in to the black community of northern cities, but not if they were dressed in the homespun and turbans of plantation life. 

OTOH, there are many houses whose current owners think that they were stops on the UGRR, because of secret rooms and passages, but probably weren't. Most of the secret passage houses in the North were built that way in case of attack (primarily, Indian attack). It's true that some of the houses that already had secret passages were used by their owners as safe houses...but rather unlikely that anyone built a house c. 1830-40 with passages for the sole reason of helping escaped slaves. For one thing, house-building wasn't a private affair back then- you had to have a lot of manpower. Neighbors would notice, and wonder why anyone would be putting in a secret escape, now that Indian attacks weren't really a danger...and slavecatchers would probably hear little details like that. OTOH, in houses that were already 60-70 years old, the existance of secret passages probably had been forgotten by most people in the community. That's part of the problem with the UGRR stories. People WANT to believe them, and continue to believe them, even when errors of logic are revealed, such as the date of construction of the house not corresponding to the era of the UGRR being a fairly good proof that the house was NOT constructed as a safe house. It's a good story, and appealing because we'd like to believe that during that time, people were more like us than not. It's more comforting to imagine that many, many people were helping slaves escape, and painful to realize that many people- perhaps even our own ancestors- thought that reporting escaped slaves and returning them to their owners was the moral thing to do...as moral as returning a strayed horse, or a lost wallet.   

Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2001 08:18:13 -0500
From: Lesters <jeanlester@ntown.com
This discussion reminds me of one of his stories about Indigo dyeing. He uses "aged" urine as a mordant. He put this in an empty milk jug in the garage and one of his sons mistook it for the gasoline for the lawn mower. Got a new lawn mower! Jean  


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Debbie Roberts at the Textile WorkshopDate: Fri, 30 Mar 2001 13:58:27 -0500
From: "Pam Weeks Worthen" <pamworthen@hotmail.com> We had a wonderful day last Saturday, hosted by Barbara Wright, featuring Debbie Roberts, at Barb's shop in Sturbridge, MA. there were about 14 of us, many QHL members, gathered around a linen covered table, oohing over a few dozen wonderful old quilts that we had all brought along to share. The biggest treat for me was a signed applique T-quilt dated 1818. As I said to the DH, I would have made the 2 hour drive just to sit beside this quilt for a half hour, say nothing about the other wonderful quilts. It was great to meet list-mom Kris, and Pat, who scored big on eBay last week, and I rode down with Lorie From Amesbury who is my new long-lost sister! Barb treated us to a great lunch, and we also had a spell of buy opportunities from a box sent along by Mary Koval, and of course there were the wonderful things available in Barb's vintage shop. When's the next one? 

 

Pam in NH and if you can believe it, ther are about 4 more inches of snow on the ground in my backyard, and our end of the state is getting it easy!   (Click on the thumbnails to see the pictures up close.)