A two part study, November 13, 2021
Presented via Zoom
Early quilt historians have promoted numerous ideas about colonial American quilts and quilters. Lynne examines these ideas in comparison with surviving textiles and other documentary evidence, focusing on the New England region. How did colonial New Englanders dress their beds? What's a bed rug and how do their designs compare with whole cloth quilts? What were the beginnings of patchwork? What do period diaries tell us about the practice of quilting?
Image: Elizabeth Foote bed rug, Colchester, CT, c. 1778. Wool. Collection of the Connecticut Historical Society.
The Industrial Revolution democratized quilt making by making textiles abundant and inexpensive for the first time in history. By the 1830’s, millions of yards of brilliantly colored and patterned calicoes poured out of New England's textile mills annually. How did this affect the appearance of quilts and the practice of quilt making? Why did people begin to view quilts through a rosy haze of nostalgia in the 1840s?
Image: Anna Wildman quilt, Sunburst pattern, Litchfield County, Connecticut, c. 1850. Cotton. Collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. Photo by Allen Phillips.
Lynne Zacek Bassett is an independent scholar specializing in historic costume and textiles. Among her projects are award-winning exhibitions and catalogues, including Homefront & Battlefield: Quilts & Context in the Civil War (co-authored with Madelyn Shaw and published in 2012 by the American Textile History Museum).
She was also primary author and editor of Massachusetts Quilts: Our Common Wealth, published by the University Press of New England in 2009. In 2019, she was guest curator of the exhibition, “Pieces of American History: Connecticut Quilts” at the Connecticut Historical Society, which is now available for viewing online (click on button below).
Her experience in the field of historic costume and textiles has been recognized by the American Antiquarian Society, the Massachusetts Historical Society, Historic New England, and the International Quilt Study Center, which have all elected her to membership in their honorary or advisory societies.
This is a live Zoom meeting. The lectures will be presented via a slide show. Questions and answers will be managed via Chat.
The meeting will NOT be recorded and available at a later date.
Check the meeting time for your location by clicking on the button below. IMPORTANT: add the meeting date to your query because Arizona does not change its time with Daylight Savings changes..
NO registrations will be accepted after the closing day, Monday, November 8, 2021.
Registrants will receive their Zoom link and instructions on Thursday, November 11, 2021.
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This was another virtual study day. Guest speaker Cathy Glover presented a lecture about "Poly and Ester." She reviewed the development of polyester fibers and the marketing that was employed to sell it. She ended the presentation with a show and tell of polyester quilts from her own collection.
Donna Wisnoski presented what little information is known about what has been called "big stitch quilting" and the use of the term "depression stitch.
Several attendees won prizes in the raffle drawing. The prizes were mailed to the winners.
Seventy-two quilt enthusiasts signed up for this virtual study day. Merikay Waldvogel presented "The 1933 Sears Quilt Contest - The Latest Update.." Her slide show included many of the quilts that were entered in the show, newspaper clippings about the show, and photographs of participants. Merikay left her audience hoping that one of them would find the winning quilt which was presented to Eleanor Roosevelt and then disappeared.
Sue Reich shared some deeply moving personal history of how military life has affected her and why she became an avid researcher of WW II quilts. She presented a well thought out slide show and explained that several types of WW II quilts were made. She also discussed quilts that were not "war" quilts but rather quilts made during those years.
During the break between speakers, Lenna DeMarco surprised the audience by pulling names for a raffle drawing of several items including books the speakers authored and several sets of vintage blocks..
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 AZQS. 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 overdyed 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 also produced from occasions of persecution, and strife, and thus, may 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.