I am going through a very pleasant withdrawal this morning. I am relaxed and don’t feel any pressure. The Show Quilt for the DMAQG has the top finished and passed on for some trapunto work! I am sitting here wondering what was I last working on.
For the past three months my focus has been creating a quilt to show the Legacy of Quilting. There is so much legacy! How much of it can be put into one quilt? The above picture is three stages ago, but there is much to share about these sections.
Autograph quilts were also known as album quilts and were often made as a gift to someone leaving the area or a retiring pastor. We wanted to remember this part of quilt history in our guild’s quilt. For autographs, I sought those of great teachers who have visited our guild and stimulated our skills over the years. I also went after some who have done so through TV and magazines. It was so fun to see what came on my computer, fax machine, and snail mail. I then took the autographs to a copy store to get them into a consistent size. Yes, we do have permanent ink, but to add another dimension of quilt history we did the names in Red Work. Three ladies of our guild helped me with the embroidery.
The two above pictures were taken during the 2011 American Quilt Study seminar in New Jersey. We were able to visit a couple great collections at museums. One assumes that for the lovely red quilt, the ladies each made their own blocks and added their name to the center. What a great collection of fabric!
While album quilts were at their rage, women actually had stamps made with their signature nicely done. Below is another very intricate name stamp.
Both of these were part of the NJ collection.
Last weekend I attended the IA-IL Quilt Study Group in Kalona, IA. The theme was Celebrations as it was the 10th anniversary of this group. The above picture is a typical autograph quilt. These were often fund raisers. You paid to have your name on the quilt and then the quilt was either auctioned or raffled off.
The above photo is that of a unique quilt pattern used for an autograph quilt. From my photo skills you cannot see all the names. The outer border is all names as well as all the inner muslin areas. There are also a few special stamps visible. These quilts may have been preserved so well as they were special to the owners and not used very often. We thank these past women for saving this special part of quilt history.
Getting back to the current album quilt, those blocks were to be a frame around the EPP hexes. In fact they were there for a brief time. Next came two frames of the regular pieced blocks. I regret that I did not take a picture of this faze of the quilt as it hung this way on the design wall for a week. I did not like it, but did not know what to do. The pieced blocks were just a hodge-podge and were not pleasant to the eye. I knew they needed to be framed or set, but did not have any more alloted space. What to do, what to do? Finally it dawned on me to use the autographs as the setting blocks. Great improvement!
Today a quilt frame gets set up in my home. We are celebrating 30 years of the Des Moines Area Quilt Guild. A quilt at that time would have been hand quilted, so we will do that for this memorial quilt.
On my next blog I will share about the pieced blocks and the rebellious American women who made them.