Registration for the
Regional Quilt Study Day
March 6, 2021
1 p.m - 4 p.m. (MST) is now closed
“The 1933 Sears Quilt Contest – The Latest Update”
The 1933 Sears Quilt Contest stands as one of the most important events in American quilt making history. As the Great Depression worsened, the promise of a $1200 grand prize encouraged the making of many quilts. By May 15, 1933, over 24,000 quilts were delivered to local stores and regional centers owned by Sears & Roebuck Co. Of the 30 quilts that reached the final round of judging at the Chicago World’s Fair, a traditional Harvest Star quilt entered by Margaret Caden of Lexington, KY won the top prize, but it turned out she did not make the quilt. This is one of many intriguing stories surrounding this contest.
Merikay Waldvogel, along with Barbara Brackman, delved into the contest stories in Patchwork Souvenirs of the 1933 World’s Fair which was published in 1993. One reviewer wrote, "Their book reads like a novel. There's just enough intrigue, scandal and suspense with characters as colorful as their quilts to make this a page-turner."
"WW II Quilts"
From 1941-1945, most able-bodied women expended all of their energies employed in the defense industry, volunteering for the Red Cross, planting Victory Gardens, and keeping the “home fires burning.” Women were also making thousands of quilts.
Through access to newspapers and magazines of the World War II era, Sue has been able to authenticate the patterns and designs available to quilt makers, thus anchoring the quilts historically in time. There were specific types of quilts made during the war: the obvious red, white and blue patriotic quilts; the quilts with military symbols and insignia; quilts made for donations to the Red Cross and organizations such as Bundles for Britain; quilts made to raise money for the war effort; and quilts that look exactly like any other quilt made between 1920 and 1950.
Sue will share her research and some of the WW II quilts that have been on exhibit across the nation at The National Quilt Museum, Paducah, KY; The Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, Golden, CO; and the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Abilene, KS to name a few.
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Dr. Terry Tickhill Terrell presented "Flower Power - How Chintz Caused the Industrial Revolution." She described how the desire for chintz in the 18th and 19th centuries give birth to the Industrial Revolution and, by 1860, made the British the providers of half the world’s printed textiles: Chintz became “the” status symbol of an age.
Lynn Evans Miller presented her "Journey of a Quilt Collector." She shared the story of how deeply she was influenced by the late Arizona quilt icon, Laurene Sinema of the Quilted Apple, Lynn shared pictures of numerous quilts from her collection.
The weekend started with a "Meet and Greet" Friday evening dinner at a local (Sun City West, AZ) restaurant. The meeting was held all day Saturday in a church social room in Sun City, AZ. In addition to the meeting, there were sales tables where attendees sold items and tables where donated items were sold with proceeds going to the Arizona Quilt Study Group. There were also several raffle items with proceeds going to AzQSG. Three guest speakers presented.
Quilt researcher and author Kathy Moore presented "Women, Their Quilts and Life on the American Plains in the 19th Century." The talks was based on her research which led to the book, "Home on the Plains: Quilts and the Sod House Experience." Much of the history was discovered through the work of Solomon Butcher who photographed families on their homesteads in Nebraska during the 19th Century. Due to the recent power of digital enhancement, Kathy was able to reveal quilts that were in the interior of the sod houses, visible in doorways and windows that were previously too dark to reveal the contents.
Past President of the American Quilt Study Group, Lenna DeMarco, presented "Am I Blue: 19th Century Red and Blue Applique Quilts." Lenna raised the question of whether the quilts were intentionally made red and blue or if they were originally red and green and the overdid green has faded.
Joy Fullerton Smith, who inherited a family quilt, became interested in its possible connection to several other quilts from the same geographical area. In her presentation, "Family, Friends, Merchants, and Religion in the Early 1840s," she discussed her findings. Her research was also published in the American Quilt Study Group annual publication, Uncoverings.
Arizona resident and active AzQSG participant Terry Grzyb-Wysock revealed her "Confessions of a Quilt Collector." Terry shared her story through a show and tell of the quilts she has collected.
Leah Zieber, quilt historian, author, quilt maker, and collector presented "Those Fabulous Fifties: Quilts in Antebellum America." This was a three hour hands on experience for participants who gathered around the display table where the quilts were organized to tell the story.
Quilt researchers Dr. Anne Hodgkins and Lenna DeMarco, who is also a past president of the American Quilt Study Group, presented "Fancy Feathers - A Look at the History and Variations of the Princess Feather Block." The topic was explored via a slide show that detailed the history of the block. Quilts from Anne and Lenna's collections were displayed to show variations in the block.
Arizona collector Debbie Wilcox shared numerous quilts in her presentation, "Confessions of a Quilt Collector." Debbie revealed that rather than focusing on a specific genre of quilt, she collects quilts that she finds in antique or thrift shops and buys them because they "just appeal" to her.
In Arizona State University Professor, Dr. Maureen Daly Goggin's presentation, "Bad Bold Ones in Stitches" she pointed out that quilts, which are often seen simply as decorative work, were actually produced from matters of persecution, and strife, and thus, carry a subtext of deeper meaning. Her presentation focused on work done by British suffragettes, including those imprisoned in Holloway.
Christine Dickey, who retired from Toyota Motor Sales, USA where she served as Color and Materials Manager in Corporate Product Planning presented "A History of Indigo and Its Emergence in North America Colonial Quilts." Christine shared numerous quilts that were made with indigo dyed fabrics.
Co-founder of the Southern Arizona Migrant Quilt Project, Peggy Hazard presented "What the Eye Doesn't See, Doesn't Move the Heart." In addition to sharing the history and current status of the project, Peggy brought several quilts that conveyed the human suffering of migrants who eventually loose their lives in the Arizona desert.
Arizona State University Professor Erika Lynn Hanson presented "Desert Red: An Introduction to the Technical and Historical Aspects of Cochineal Dye." The presentation included an actual demonstration of the dying process. The topic was particularly interesting because the cactus that hosts cochineal grows in central and southern Arizona.
Dr. Ferne Zabrezensky shared "The History of Quilting in the Jewish Culture." The presentation included the extensive collection of quilts and quilted items she has made using fabrics with a Jewish theme.
"Tiny Treasures: 200 Years of Doll Quilts" was presented by former American Quilt Study Group President Lenna DeMarco.