Quilt History banner

Home Page















Quilt Restoration  

Member Links


Study Groups









Quilters Find a way to care

Subject: Mary Schafer Quilt Auction From: Beth Donaldson <quilts@museum.msu.edu> Date: Fri, 30 May 2003 16:10:30 -0400 X-Message-Number: 1

--=====================_27198066==_.ALT Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format=flowed

Mary Schafer Quilts on eBay.

In 1998 Michigan State University Museum acquired 118 quilts from Mary Schafer. Per our original understanding with Mary and with her counsel, 75 quilts were selected for accessioning into the museum's collection. The remaining ones were intended to be periodically publicly auctioned off to raise funds to complete the purchase costs of the collection as well as to help support the long-term care and use of the collection. In 1998 fifteen of the quilts were auctioned off. This is the first auction offering since 1998.

Born in Austria-Hungary in 1910 and later immigrating to the United States, Mary Schafer became one of an important group of women who kept quilting and quilt studies alive between World War II and the 1970s revival of interest in quilts. A resident of Michigan for most of her life, she has long been recognized as one of the forerunners of quilt studies and as a prizewinning quilter, as well as the developer of one of the most important quilt history collections in the country.

Watch eBay periodically in the upcoming months, the quilts will appear one or two at a time. The quilts being auctioned represent a wide range of Mary's activities. Some are antique quilts she collected. Some are reproductions of antique quilts made by Mary. Some are quilt tops or blocks she found, added borders to and quilted. Some were started by Betty Harriman and finished by Mary after Betty passed away. All are an excellent chance to add an important piece of quilt history to your collection. All the quilts are catalogued with the Michigan Quilt Project and a cloth label is sewn onto the back with the MQP# to encourage you to keep in touch with us. If you have any questions on a quilt you see for auction, feel free to e-mail your questions and they will be forwarded to us.

More information about Mary Schafer and her quilts can be found in:

Cunningham, Joe. "Fourteen Quilts Begun by One Woman and Finished by Another." Uncoverings 7 (1986): 61-71.

MacDowell, Marsha, ed. Great Lakes, Great Quilts from the Michigan State University Museum. Lafayette, California: C&T Publishing, 2001.

Marston, Gwen and Cunningham, Joe. Mary Schafer and Her Quilts. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Museum, 1990.

Beth Donaldson Quilt Collections Assistant Great Lakes Quilt Center at the Michigan State University Museum 201 Central Services East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1045 quilt line: 517-432-3800 quilts@museum.msu.edu http://museum.msu.edu/glqc/index.html


Subject: Never underestimate the power of a driven woman, no matter how young! 

I hope you don't mind my sharing a neat experience. I am remembering a discussion on this list from a year or so ago about young people not being much interested in quilting? or was someone wondering if anyone was teaching kids to quilt? ANYWAY...

Tonight I had the joy of attending an exhibit created by a young woman from my town who is graduating from Phillips Exeter Academy next week. For her Senior Project, Catharine chose to make six small quilts. She wanted to explore some quilt history and make some study pieces.

She contacted me back in April, just before I left for Paducah, and we spent a pleasant afternoon together. She picked what little brains I had left at the time, and asked my advice about what size study pieces to make and asked for some suggestions of patterns. My first piece of advice to her was to use her sewing machine as much as possible, and secondly, to cut her project down to 4 pieces from six.

Catharine asked me to teach her applique that afternoon, as no one in her family sews. I did, and was delighted to have her catch on very quickly. I gave her lots of fabrics from my stash and scrap basket, and apologized because I wanted to help her more, but wouldn't be available for a few weeks. I think I loaned her some books, too.

I didn't hear a word until this week when she called to invite me to her exhibit. WELL...I was bowled over when I walked into the art building in Exeter. She had been given a hallway in which to display her project, and down the hall stretched a line of six of the most wonderful little study pieces. She had a very good introduction to her project matted and hung, about 2 pages, then a one page explanation for each quilt.

The first piece was a whole cloth quilt, made of a super blue toile. It is about 18" square, hand quilted in a diagonal grid, and bound with woven tape. She found a rather course muslin for the backing. Her stitches are very even, and about 8 to the inch.

Catharine actually made a small broderie perse tree of life that has a brown trunk with 5 branches, each tipped by a flower or spray cut from chintz. This piece has a chintz border, and you'd never believe she hasn't been doing applique for years.

Her next piece is of variable stars, four of them set on point with chintz setting blocks. She hand pieced and hand quilted the 22" quilt, and did a fabulous job picking out reproduction prints for the stars. Her advisor does some sewing, and tried to talk Catharine out of some of the choices for the prints, because "They don't 'go' with the chintz", but Cath stuck to her choices and it's a great little quilt.

Next was a small crazy quilt, all sorts of velvets and satins and silks, with at least 12 different embroidery stitches, framed in black velvet, mounted on foam core. I think this was the smallest and about 10" square. This kid had never sewn much before, yet the stitches were just wonderful!

She did a small charm quilt, using the baby block/tumbling block patch, about 12" square, and a pillow-sized Cathedral Window, with great explanations for both.

Catharine was worried that no one would show up for her exhibit due to the high volume of end of year activities, but about 35-40 friends, parents, and teachers came. She said it was okay to touch the quilts, and the kids in particular were fun to watch as they picked up corners to try to understand how it all worked.

She was driven to get 6 pieces made, and 6 she did. Her mom said this week was a little crazy with proof reading, matting and doing the bindings, but Catharine insisted on doing it all herself. I joked with her that next time it would be okay to job out the binding, and she just grinned.

I am afraid that she exhibits another quilter's trait. She COULD NOT accept a compliment from anyone about any of the quilts with out telling us how much better she could have done this bit, or that point doesn't match or arent' my stitches HUGE? I got to laughing, and her mom asked what was so funny. I told her that Catharine was a born quilter if she couldn't just say, "thanks for the compliment" and let it go!

Thanks for listening!

Pam in NH where we had enough respite from the rain so that I gardened until my arms don't work. NOw it's pouring again!

Pam Weeks Worthen



Subject: Re: Never underestimate the power of a driven woman, no matter how 

On C-Span this evening, I saw Dr. Condaleeza Rice's commencement address to the graduates of the Mississippi College Law School in Jackson, MS. Dr. Rice emphasized the importance of giving back to the community, of sharing one's gifts. She was preceded by the Editor of the editorial page of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a Ms. Tucker, who spoke on the same theme to the graduates of Emory University. Both were African-American women who themselves were conscious of the ways in which they had benefited from just such outreach on the parts of members of preceding generations. Rice noted that at one point in her early career, she had become so busy that she had made no time for church or community, and she was a person of faith and altruism, reared in a Protestant denomination that had made it possible for her grandfather to attend college and thus had affected her own life's possibilities. She told of how one Sunday morning while at the spice rack of the grocery store, she was approached by a man getting things for his church's picnic. He asked her if she could play the piano, and she told him she could. He said their little inner-city church needed a pianist, and from that point forward she was back in church.

Long way of saying "Good for you, Pam!" for sharing your time with the young woman from Phillips Exeter. At some time everyone on this list was mentored, either by a Rose Wilder Lane, Rose Kretsinger, C. Hall, or other writer whose words guided us or by some person in our lives who took the time and interest to praise our interest and guide our hands.

Pam, down here in humid, hot Louisiana, I am standing with you as you entered the exhibit of your Catherine's quiltmaking project. And I am so proud of both of you! Thanks for taking the time to share the details of your experience. I'm going to pass your account along to the art teacher at our school as a reminder that art projects need not be limited to works on canvas or paper.



Subject: MMmmmm Have a look at this From: "Lorraine Olsson" <sven@pnc.com.au> Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2003 20:06:01 +1000 X-Message-Number: 1

http://cgi.liveauctions.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3D2174105= 583&sspagename=3DADME%3AB%3ARECO%3AUS%3A2

I would like to see this all spread out (No affiliations of course) Cheers,=20 Lorraine in Oz


Subject: Appraiser's article about symbolism From: "Barbara Vlack" <cptvdeo@inil.com> Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2003 06:15:17 -0500 X-Message-Number: 2

Darwin offered: <<Thought some of you might enjoy this article written by <A HREF="mailto:carolineashleigh@appraiseyourart.com">Caroline Ashleigh</A>. She is an appraiser and one of the Antique Road Show's "Experts"

<<Copy and paste this address into your browser: 

http://www.chubbcollectors.com/Vacnews/index.jsp?form=2&ArticleId=12 2 >>

RESPONSE: I found this article to be very interesting. Ashleigh listed 5 symbols (cross, square, triangle, circle, and spiral). The article suggested that many collect things relating to a certain symbol and the heart came to my mind. If my memory serves me correctly, Mary Emmerling had a book out a while ago about hearts for folk art collectors. Hearts certainly pervade in quilts and cross cultural lines. Denmark even puts a heart on some of its coins.

Barb Vlack cptvdeo@inil.com


Subject: Design-a-qult From: Kris Driessen <krisdriessen@yahoo.com> Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2003 04:50:15 -0700 (PDT) X-Message-Number: 3

Just thought some of you might be interested to see what happened to the man who defaced a quilt at the Houston show.

"A Kentucky quilting machine manufacturer pleaded guilty Monday to defacing an Elvis quilt with bleach, ...... "




Subject: Re: MMmmmm Have a look at this From: "Judy Kelius (judysue)" 

Hi Lorraine - I might go to the auction (know the auction company well) if I am feeling better than I have the last few days. I'll take my digital and see if they will let me take photos. - Judy


Subject: Re: MMmmmm Have a look at this From: Kris Driessen 


You aren't just kidding! Do they really expect an absentee bids of $500 - $2000 plus 17.5% on blocks which are laid out on top of each other?! I don't doubt they will sell for that in person, though. Wish I could be there.



Subject: Re: MMmmmm Have a look at this From: ARabara15@aol.com Date: Wed, 

I will be attending this auction and will report back with condition and winning bid price. They are truly a remarkable piece of quilt history. Donald Brokate


Subject: RE: MMmmmm Have a look at this From: "Candace Perry" 

I have the Alderfer's catalog, and they look absolutely luscious. I'd be on 'em in a minute if they fit our scope of collections. Candace Perry Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center


Subject: Woven converlet appraiser? From: "pepper cory" <pepcory@mail.clis.com> 

Hello QHL friends-While appraising an antique quilt top, the owner also brought me three handwoven coverlets. Two are overshots and a third a handwoven early blanket with stripes. I don't feel I can accurately appraise these items for him. Any coverlet/blanket appraisers out there? I am in NC and I think the customer would like to stick close to home (east coast etc.). Thanks for your help- Pepper Cory


Subject: Re: MMmmmm Have a look at this From: Midnitelaptop@aol.com Date: 

this is not a quilt....it's a collection of blocks.. right? jeanL


Subject: RE: Appraiser's article about symbolism From: "Candace Perry" 

The heart had enormous significance to the pious PA Germans -- we have samplers that have a heart surrounded with initals that represent, in German, the thought "O Noble Heart Think on Thine End." Pietism (which encompasses the Mennonite, Brethren, Amish and Schwenkfelders) is sometimes called "heart religion." It's a very personal communion with God. Candace Perry, still going on about these Dutchy things


Subject: a model curator From: Joan Kiplinger <jkip@ncweb.com> Date: Wed, 04 


This is to let you all know that Candace is one of the most accommodating curators I have ever met, and if anyone on this list is ever in the vicinity of Schwenkfelder Museum near Reading, please stop in to meet this charming person. Last week I and some fellow travelers had the opportunity to meet her. She spent about 3 hours with us in a private viewing of some early 1800s PA German garments, going out of her way to answer our questions and taking up her otherwise valuable time. We also got to see a quilt display of old and new; 2 were by Barb Garrett. One quilt in particular by a first-time quilter caught everyone's attention. It was created of blocks from old military uniforms. Some blocks contained service rank insignias; a few, pockets. To set off the drabs of olive and khacki, a bright red 2" border was used. This museum visit was also an opportunity for me to meet Barb and Sharon Stark and her mate Bill, a most knowledgable gent about anything old. So thanx, Candace, for the grand tour.


Subject: Re: MMmmmm Have a look at this From: ARabara15@aol.com Date: Wed, 

Yes, they were presented to the original owner and never assembled. Donald


Subject: Re: qhl digest: May 23, 2003 From: jocelynm@delphiforums.com Date: 

> That's why I used the term "visionary" to distinguish...much of what we > originally labelled as outsider art is visionary...the artists have > visions > that compel them to create this art. There is one famous artist, in > particular, who was compelled by his visions to make a huge series of > paintings (can't remember his name right now).

Hieronymous Bosch? Jocelyn


Subject: Re: Information re Kettle Cloth and Indian Head From: Jackie Joy 

Joan Kiplinger wrote: "Every so often the subject of Kettle Cloth comes up..."

After reading the above post, I remembered all the clothing I made for my daughter and me in the 1970's using Kettle Cloth. It was an easy fabric to sew, took a press well, and wore well. I used it a lot, and had plenty of scraps left over. In my first attempt at making a quilt, I used the scraps from sewing. There's a lot of K C in this first quilt top (unfinished) with the alternating blocks of white K C. There is also corduroy, which is one of the reasons it never got quilted.

Jackie Joy


Subject: Kettle Cloth From: Joan Kiplinger <jkip@ncweb.com> Date: Wed, 04 Jun 

Jackie -- I still have my Kettle Cloth "quilt" [meaning I don't know what else to call this thing I made and quilt sounds the most fraudently respectible], flounce, shams and curtains. They were made in the late 70s, early 80s and are still in use and still look and feel new. So I can understand your admiration for this cloth. I didn't realize that when I received the Kettle Cloth/Harvest Cloth information that there were samples of Harvest in the package. It is beautiful fabric, just a tad lighter than Kettle and would be beautiful as a quilt backing or even as part of top as well as for home decor. I don't know where to obtain Harvest but have written to find out. I'm basing springs wording OTC as yardage for retail, hopefully. But I will let list know when I find out.




Copyright ęPhoebeMoon Web Design Solutions   All rights reserved.
 Material on these pages may not be reproduced in any form without expressed written permission.