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Quilters Find a way to care

01178 - 01181

 

Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2001 10:08:11 -0600

From: Xenia Cord <xecord@netusa1.net>

To: QHL@cuenet.com

Just some random thoughts on women of the past, and our view of their

lives: When we look back on how they lived, we filter our understanding

through our own experiences. So we can't help but compare what we have

with what we understand that they had (or didn't have), and their lives

come off badly. Granted, airconditioning and shorts and rotary cutters

and modern appliances and Ott lights are great, but if you never had

these, and no one else did either (because they didn't exist), you might

feel that your life was in balance with everyone else's, and that you

wered not suffering any particular hardships.

Don't you imagine that women who had pumps in the yard or in the kitchen

felt sorry for women before them who had to carry water in buckets from

a stream or spring? And women with stoves on which to heat water for

washing and laundry might have felt pity for their forebears who heated

water in kettles over an open fire and "cooked" their clothing outdoors?

What I'm trying to say (rather badly, I know) is that it's all

relative. Probably our descendants will wonder how we managed with

gasoline-driven automobiles and 56K modems and nylon hosiery!

Xenia (in air conditioning, in very hot Indiana)

------------------------------

Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2001 16:51:06 -0400

From: "Jon Minard" <

 

I tried once before to place this on QHL, but I never saw it, and it was

when I wasn't getting the posts, either. I'm not on AOL, but feel that

something was amiss, anyway. If you received notice of this before, I

appologize.

The Knox County Quilt Guild is having a non-juried quilt show in Mt. Vernon,

Ohio, in conjunction with the Dan Emmett Music and Arts Festival. It

usually has over 100 examples of quilts, quilted clothing, and accessories.

There are always a few antique quilts, too. It is free to the public, and

lots of fun. It is held in the YMCA, on Main St., on August 10, 11, and

12. On August 10, there will be a special mail cancellation, and sale of

the Amish antique quilt stamps. At 7 p.m. that day, the Post Office is

having a little celebration/presentation to introduce the Amish quilt

stamps, and to make a presentation to the Knox County Quilt Guild. We also

have a raffle quilt that is entirely hand quilted (machine pieced), that the

majority of the proceeds go to Hospice.

I probably forgot something. I would be happy to have some mail cancelled

for you. Just send a sase, or blank envelope with postage enclosed if you

would like the cancellation to be over the new stamp quilt stamps. The 10th

is the first day they will be available for sale. Feel free to e-mail me,

privately, and if you would like to have a piece of mail cancelled, I will

give you my snail-mail address.

Up till now, I have always been an avid lurker. Thank you to whomever came

up with the special cancellation idea. I got it from here!!! Margie

Minard, in hot, steamy, Mt. Vernon, Ohio

-

------------------------------

Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2001 18:02:42 -0600

From: Xenia Cord <

 

This weekend has just concluded the Quilters Hall of Fame Celebration

2001, in Marion, Indiana. For anyone not familiar with the event, it

represents the linking of the Hall of Fame with the restoration of the

longtime home of 20th century quilt entrepreneur Marie Daugherty

Webster, who is generally considered to have begun the first quilt

revival of the 20th century (in the US).

Each year during the Celebration, an individual who has contributed

substantially to the art and/or the history of quilts is honored by

induction into the Hall of Fame. This year's honoree was Barbara

Brackman; a few of the 31 other honorees are Cuesta Benberry, Michael

James, Karey Bresenhan, Amy Emms, MBE, Ruth Finley, Anne Orr, Marie

Webster herself, Shiela Betterton, and Jonathan Holstein.

During the weekend Barbara gave one of her marvelous seminars on "Dating

Old Quilts - Material Pleasures," sharing her knowledge of vintage

fabrics. Another day she conducted gallery tours through her exhibit

of documentaries (the originals) and quilts made with reproduction

fabrics from her Moda line (with Terry Thompson), and also through the

competition quilts, which reflected the theme "A Glimpse of the Past"

(traditional designs using at least 3 reproduction fabrics). Tours of

the Webster house renovations, a luncheon and lecture by Phyllis Twigg

and Judi Gunter and their workshop on "Ratty Quilts,," a live auction

and silent auction, a vendor mall, a performance of "The Quilters," and

a potpourri of classes helped to round out the weekend's activities.

Highlight of the weekend was Barbara's induction on Saturday evening, a

dinner gala attended by many of her friends, most of whom were willing

to indulge in some mild "roasting" of the honoree. Barbara is a

polkadot fanatic, and her friends were uniformly attired in dotted

fabrics, some of which were made so by map dots from an office supply

store. Several presented her with a special quilt, "Indiana Puzzle" in

polkadot fabrics, and she was lauded for having set the quilt world on

its too-serious ear when she and the Kaw Valley quilters created "The

Killing of Sunbonnet Sue" in the 1970s.

On a more serious note Barbara was properly recognized for her

tremendous contributions to the quilt world, including her monumental

Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns, which evolved from over 4000

notecards, and her Encyclopedia of Applique, as well as her pioneering

Clues in the Calico. In "rebuttal," Barbara shared with the audience

some interesting insights into her scholarship, including this

interesting idea: that the fundamentals of literary criticism have

given writers (quilt-literate or not) the confidence to "deconstruct"

quilts, and to dissect their segments in an attempt to "interpret" their

meanings. Symbolism, maps, hidden messages, color significance, and

other "clues" have been implied by those seeking to put their own spin

on the quiltmaker's product, regardless of what the quiltmaker herself (

or himself) may have had in mind.

It's a profound idea, Barbara, casually but thoughtfully offered and

stunning in its implications.

Xenia, in Indiana

(I apologize for any errors in substance or interpretation; the

assessment of Barbara's remarks is mine alone.)

------------------------------

Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2001 19:44:42 -0500

From: Gail Ingram <

Xenia wrote, "What I'm trying to say . . . is that it's all

relative. Probably our descendants will wonder how we managed with

gasoline-driven automobiles and 56K modems and nylon hosiery!"

I agree that changing technology will undoubtedly permit our descendants to

look at our physical comforts in the same general way those of us whose

grandmothers lived in rural America look at their lives. Yet they will be in

many cases be talking about the degree of comfort, not the existance of

comfort. Electric lights are better than gas lights, which were better than

kerosene lamps, which were better than candle light, which beat firelight.

But the people I've known who worked by kerosene or candlelight never

considered it satisfactory­­just better than nothing.

I am not sure that basic comfort is altogether relative. Cooking on a

woodstove in 95-degree heat struck my elderly friend and her mother as

uncomfortable in the 1920's and now. Doing laundry with a rub board and

water heated in outdoors in those black castiron pots for a family of seven

sons, as my paternal grandmother did, was a physically exhausting task

without redeeming "spiritual" side-effects in 1910 or in 2001. Raising

children in an era without anti-biotics and similar life-saving drugs was

terrifying in 1900 and 2000.

A Baby Boomer, my early childhood was spent among a bevy of elderly women

who had grown up and lived to old age in a region that was in critical ways

a frontier until the advent of WW II. They "had no time for" romanticized

yearnings for "the old days." They talked often of physical hardships and

their attendant gratitude for the devices that had lightened their physical

burdens. My grandmother owned one of the first window air-conditioning units

in Rapides Parish, Louisiana, in the rather late 50's. Her cardiologist said

it extended her life.

Certainly advancing technology often creates possibilities for social and

moral slippage, but it also makes possible many good things, including

civilizations.

As I study the past, what strikes me is that our grandmothers and

great-grandmothers found within themselves the means to satisfy the undying

human need for beauty, even in circumstances that precluded leisure and

discretionary expenditures. Their ingenuity and determination to elevate the

lives in their care is seen in their aprons and quilts and gardens as well

as in the clothing they made their children. That inheritance stood me in

good stead when, as a young mother and wife on a tight budget, I found joy

and created beauty with my first quilt, a Double Wedding Ring made from

scraps from sewing remnants and a soft yellow sheet which had been a wedding

gift.

People like Kris Driessen and educational institutions like the University

of Nebraska, which early helped document and encourage the study of the

history of American quilts and quiltmakers, make it possible for those of us

with Ott lamps and year-round air-conditioned sewing rooms truly to know

and, therefore, genuinely to appreciate the achievements of all those

quilters who worked under different, less pleasant physical conditions. My

grandmothers would have given up their most treasured secret recipes for a

few hours in that climate-controlled room where the James Collection is

housed or for access to something like the QHL, which would broaden their

knowledge and improve their quilting skills.

Feeling and sounding like Polyanna in the hills of North Louisiana,

Gail Ingram

 

------------------------------

 

Hi all,

What I meant by calling life in previous centuries "incredibly difficult"

was not that those women (or men, for that matter) whined and complained,

but rather that their days were long, filled with exhausting work and very

little time for themselves, and that by the end of each say they probably

collapsed and slept like the dead, knowing that they'd have to do it all

again starting at dawn. And just the fact that everybody lived like that

does not make such a life any easier, or less taxing on the human body. The

fact that people in the 19th century lived longer than people in the Middle

Ages does not make an average life-span of 55 or whatever very impressive.

One must also take into consideration the quantum-leap in the quality of

life between the 19th and 20th centuries - as opposed to the very slow and

gradual improvement in life conditions in preceding centuries. Let's face

it, we're healthier, live longer, do not wear our bodies with endless

pregnancies, don't have to dread every birth as possibly fatal (have you

noticed how many of the women documented in quilt documentation books are

second wives and stepmothers to men whose the first wives died in

childbirth or some epidemic?), don't have to cook fresh food every day

unless we want to, because we have storage and freezing facilities, and the

list goes on and on.

I bake my own bread and cook for a family of four, and every single day I

bless my oven, magimix, washing machine and air conditionr. In the late

Fifties and early Sixties, whet I was a little girl, Israel was a

relatively poor (well, backward) country still struggling to absorb Jewish

refugees from post WWII Europe and the Arab countries. When my baby sister

was born, I can still remember my grandma coming to help my mother with the

wash - they'd boil the diapers in a cast iron pot set over bricks in the

back yard. Sheets were boiled likewise, then pulled through a mangle and

hung outside to dry. And "hard cases" were scrubbed on a wash board - my

Grandma had one she'd used since the Twenties. This was back-breaking,

thankless slave labor and good riddance to it. And when my Granpa bought my

Grandma a washing machine, she was the happiest woman on the block (also

one of the first to have one<g>).

When I read stories of women like Talullah Bottoms or Dorinda Moody Slade,

I am filled with admiration, but bless my lucky stars to have been born in

an age that allows me more time for myself and my quilts, and the ability

to do it with s much more comfort.

Ady in Israel

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2001 13:08:30 -0400

From: "pepper cory" <

 

Hello to all QHL readers-Upon reading Gay Raterink Bomers' news of her dad's

death, I felt compelled to write. For those of you who never had the chance

to know him, Mr. Raterink was a true gentleman in the finest sense of the

word. Back when I started a quilt shop in 1976, I realized Needleart Guild,

that company that made quilting stencils, was less then 60 miles away. I'd

frequently travel to Grand Rapids, Michigan and go to the Raterinks' house

and buy stencils direct from the source. Mr. Raterink always was hospitable

and kind to me and shared his knowledge and insight of the wax and wane and

then the Centennial resurgence of the craft of quilting. He showed me

patterns and quilts from his personal collection (he was especially proud of

his wife Violet's work and of having Gay join the business-) and always

made me feel like a guest in his house and not just a business account. For

years I saw him at shows and made a point to speak with him.and he always

remembered me--no small feat considering how many people he had to meet and

greet. I have a request for Gay--after a while when the services are over

and you feel like it, could you write a biography of your dad for QHL

readers? We could all then get to know him a little better through your

eyes.

Please accept my condolences on your father's passing.

Pepper Cory

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2001 16:46:37 -0400

From: "laurafisher" <

Kei Kobiyashi of New York City wrote a book several years ago about using

origami to create quilt patterns, but I think it was published only in

Japan. I'll tcontact her to see if she can post info to the list so people

can find out if it can be ordered. Her idea was brilliant, needing no tools

to create complex designs, but I think it was ahead of its time. Don't think

it was translated into English though.

Laura Fisher/Antique Quilts & Americana, NYC

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2001 13:05:10 -0700 (PDT)

From: Kris Driessen <

QuiltBus is on the road again! We have been having an awful lot of

fun - people are surprised to see how much we can fit on an old

school bus. I've got a good spot for the antique quilts, but I am

still working on how to display vintage fabrics. If you would like

to see our bus, I just put some before and after pictures at

http://www.quiltbus.com/story.htm.

This weekend we will be in Ithaca, NY, in the parking lot of the NYS

Armory as part of the Continuing the Tradition Weekend Quilting

Celebration. Their website is http://www.tcqg.org/, one of the best

guild websites I have seen. They are having some really super

lectures and exhibits so if you are anywhere in the area, make it a

point to visit.

Off the quilting topic! There is a nasty virus out there, which

looks for all the world like a personal note someone has sent you.

The text of the note is along the line of "I need your advice on this

file" or "Here is the file you asked for" and the attachment shows a

Word document with the extension .doc.ink or .doc.pif. (etc) People

see the .doc, ignore the additional extension, think it is okay to

open and Poof! The virus replicates itself 8,000 times. Literally.

 

For more information - and to clean your machine if you already

opened it - see

http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/w32.sircam.worm@mm.html

Moral of the story: don't open attachments unless you are expecting

something from the sender. Cuenet will filter for viruses, so you

should never receive a virus with your digest. If an attachment DOES

show up, it is probably MIME - but don't open it anyway, just to be

safe.

Please say hi to me if you do see us at a show. I like to put faces

to e-mail addresses:-))

Kris

__________________________________________________

------------------------------

Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 12:20:43 EDT

From: Windquilt@aol.com

Laura wrote:

"Kei Kobiyashi of New York City wrote a book several years ago about using

origami to create quilt patterns, but I think it was published only in

Japan. "

I have a copy of this book! It was translated into English in 1993 and

published by Sterling Publishing Co. under the title " 520 Quick & Easy

Patchwork Designs: The Amazing Paper-Folding Method for Endless Variations,"

ISBN 0-8069-8508-9. This English edition has a few pages of instructions,

and many pages of the gridded (folded) designs, including some very

intriquing ideas.

Amazon lists this book as out of print, but also indicates that a used copy

is available. Hard-To-Find-Needlework Books might also have a copy.

 

Nancy Blake

south of Boston

"Don't just live the length of your life, live the width of it as well."

Diane Ackerman

------------------------------

Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 22:09:00 EDT

From: Lindaingr@aol.com

 

Dear QHL'ers,

I'm writing to let you know of the loss of part of our living quilting

heritage. Last week Friday, Garrett Raterink left this world, he was 90 years

old. For those of you who may not know him or of him, he was the father of

Gay Bomers on this list. He also dedicated 72 years of his working life to

quilting. In 1990 he was the recipient of the Michael Kile lifetime

achievement award for his contributions to quilting. In 1924, at the age of

14, he began his first job of cleaning the wooden printing blocks for the

beautiful applique kit quilts of the 1920's and 30's. He continued to work

for and with quilters until his retirement at the age of 86. In 1930, Mr.

Raterink invented the machine that made the first slotted quilting stencils.

If you use a raised edge thimble when you quilt, Mr. Raterink also was the

first person to bring us that invention. Other contributions included

quilting frames and hoops. With his wife Violet, and daughter Gay, he brought

us many patterns from the Needle Art Guild Company.

I didn't want his loss to go by without a tribute of thanks for all of his

contributions.

Sincerely,

Linda Gabrielse

-

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2001 07:38:05 -0400

From: Barb Garrett <bgarrett@fast.net>

To: QHL@cuenet.com

 

I'm way behind on my reading, so this refers to a question a few days

ago.

Mark Power wrote -

> I've also been looking at the history of

> British quilting and was struck by the similarity between some British

> designs and Amish ones. I know the Amish came to quilting later than

> the surrounding community but I would still have expected their

> influences to have been more from continental europe given their Swiss

> connections. Any thoughts.

While it is true the Amish, Mennonites and Brethren have a Swiss German

background, when they came to this country in the late 1600s and 1700s,

they were doing weaving for bedding -- linen sheets and woven

coverlets. They did not learn to quilt til they came to this country,

therefore would not have had continental influence in their quiltmaking,

but rather the influence of their new neighbors, which in Pennsylvania

would have been to a large extent the English. Maybe that's why they

refer to anyone who isn't Amish as English -- just thought of that.

The PA Germans did bring with them a terrific needlework tradition --

their cross stitch on linen is beautiful - intricate and tiny -- and can

definitely be considered a forerunner of the Lancaster County Amish

quilting stitching style. Several things may have worked together to

help the Amish develop their early quilt style -- unfortunately we can't

ask anyone what they were thinking <grin>.

1. They wore solid wool clothing -- not the beautiful printed silks and

cottons that others were wearing, so this was the fabric they were

familiar with to use in their quilting.

2. Because they were using wool, it would have made more sense to them

to piece large pieces rather than small pieces -- and easier -- and

perhaps less wasteful since we all know how seams eat up fabric. Keep

in mind that by 1870, the date of the earliest documented Amish quilt,

quilters in southeastern PA were buying fabric to make their quilts so

it would have been logical to them to use their dress yardage to make

quilts. I've been told that it isn't uncommon for an Amish woman to buy

a bolt of fabric to make dresses and shirts for her family -- all the

same, therefore less leftovers, and it would have been a simple matter

to use a length from that bolt in her quiltmaking. I still see the

evidence of this practice today -- all members of the family emerging

from the vehicle dressed identically in the same bright shade of

polyester.

3. The large open spaces provided them with a huge canvas to show off

their marvelous needlework skills, which is what they did bring with

them from the continent. I believe they were more interested in a

canvas for their needlework rather than spending time piecing. These

quilts were "chust for nice", and a way for them to show off their

needlework skills in much the same way the English showed off their

needlework skills in intricate piecing and intense quilting.

Barb in hot southeastern PA

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2001 09:36:11 -0500

From: "schwenkfelder library & heritage center" <schwenkfeld@netcarrier.com>

 

I might add that the Amish were actually pockets within larger Pennsylvania

German communities, and the English were there, certainly, but so were a

slew of other "plain" people and "church" people of German background. In

some Pennsylvania German communities where the Amish settled, you'd be

hard-pressed to find many people of Anglo-Saxon background.

I think that you're dead-on about the Amish quilting being a purely American

phenomenon. I know next to nothing about the subject, but other groups

certainly absorbed what their American neighbors were doing, including the

group I work with, the Schwenkfelders.

By the way, we were recently given and are presently exhibiting a

spectacular quilt illustrated on page 82 (figure 3.28)of Anita Schorsch's

"Plain and Fancy: Country Quilts of the Pennsylvania Germans." If you're in

our area, please stop in (30 minutes south of Allentown and 1 hour northwest

of Philadelphia in Pennsburg PA) We will be rotating Schwenkfelder made

quilts in our permanent exhbition space.

Candace Perry

Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center (we're air conditioned...after 50

years!)

www.schwenkfelder.com

-

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2001 14:01:37 EDT

From: Windquilt@aol.com

To: butzke@nconnect.net

Carol,

HTFNWBooks is based in Newton, Massachusetts, and does have a website :

www.needleworkbooks.com

<A HREF="http://www.needleworkbooks.com/">Click here: Hard-to-Find Needlework

Books</A>

Be prepared to find some real gems here!

Nancy (not Laura)

 

Nancy Blake

south of Boston

"Don't just live the length of your life, live the width of it as well."

Diane Ackerman

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2001 14:37:46 -0400

From: "pepper cory" <

 

I've been following the comments on Amish quilts with interest. If you read

histories of the Amish migrations to America, they include the Netherlands

(which had a strong quilting tradition) and England, particularly the west

(read Wales here-) since the seaports that were the jumping-off point to

America were naturally along the southwest coast of England.There are also

references to the Society of Friends (Quakers) in England and America

helping the Amish immigrants with donations of money and supplies. Might not

some of the supplies been bedding, as in quilts? The striking similarity

between Lancaster PA Center Diamonds and the layout of the classic Welsh

Diamond quilts cannot, to me, be coincidental. If the Amish adapted the

Welsh Diamond to their own purposes, this takes nothing away from the beauty

of either form. On the other hand, the quilting designs (stitched into the

fabric) of PA Amish quilts do show greater similarity to their PA Dutch

neighbors. Like jazz, which melded and restructured African rhythms into a

whole new musical genre, Amish quilts beautifully synthesize English and

Dutch sensibilities into the present recognizably unique Amish quilting

style. On a side note here: while judging a quilt show in Malvern, England,

I was backing up to take into view a beautiful black, red, green, and pearl

gray Center Diamond. I must have muttered my thought aloud, which was, "What

an unusual color combination for an Amish quilt-" when an indignant lady

rounded on me and declared, "That's not Amish! It's Welsh I'll have you

know! They got the Center Diamond from us!" Having been put in my place by

an expert, I apologized.

Pepper Cory

(from hot and steamy coastal North Carolina)

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2001 15:36:02 -0400

From: "Cinda Cawley" <

charset="iso-8859-1"

Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

I was invited to see the quilt collection of a fellow member of the =

Bayside Quilters. (I had no idea that this lady was a big-time doll =

collector and I enjoyed a private tutorial on a subject of which I am =

profoundly ignorant.) She is also someone who was interested in quilts =

long before the current revival. Her mother actually collected in the =

1930s. She has a characteristically Maryland mid-19th century Crossed =

Laurel Leaves (10 ft. square) which, unfortunately has suffered =

deterioration in the motifs on the turkey red. My favorite was a Rose =

Wreath variation (red and green with tiny touches of cheddar). The =

stems were very sturdy (none of the fussy Baltimore-style applique for =

that lady) and the flowers and leaves large and simple. The really =

exciting thing about this quilt is the border. Along 3 sides march =

vases filled, not with flowers, but with a kind of tree shape. I've =

never seen anything quite like it. The owner bought it for $20 in the =

early 50s.

My question for the list is can anybody suggest a date for Bucilla =

kit # 1117, Poppy Bouquet? My friend showed me the kit which appears to =

be complete in its original box. We even found the receipt made out in =

her mother's name at an address the family moved to in 1939; the cost =

was $3.98. Oddly enough the entire quilt seems to have been intended to =

be red, white and blue. The poppies, of course, are red; the leaves and =

ribbons to tie the bouquets together are stamped on a clear medium blue =

fabric. Could this very patriotic color scheme be a clue to the date? =

Did the rage for kit quilts cross the Atlantic?

Cinda on the Eastern Shore

 

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2001 15:35:47 -0400

From: Sandi or Mike Hardy <shardy@together.net>

Hi QHLers,

I went to the web site http://www.quilthistory.com/state.htm (it looks

great Kris) to see if the book written about our Vermont state quilts

was listed and it was.

Vermont - Plain and Fancy, Vermont People and their Quilts as a

Reflection of America, Richard L. Cleveland and Donna Bister,

the Quilt Digest Press (1991), ISBN 0-913327-30-1

But it is listed as not currently in print. I do know that there were

still some available from the Vermont Quilt Festival at this year's

show. If any one is interested in a copy you might try http://vqf.org

It has some wonderful quilts and stories.

Sandi in Vermont