Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 22:52:09 EDT
How much feed sack fabric does your friend want. I have lots of
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 22:49:35 -0500
From: "Barbara Vlack" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I haven't heard this name in maybe 30 years, but the minute I read
Gay's post, it all came back to me. I _love_ her quilts! I saw them
in a quilt show special exhibit in the late 70s or early 80s at the
latest. I was absolutely fascinated with her silk quilts and reverse
appliqué. I dug into my archives and found maybe 25 slides I have of
her quilts from this exhibit. The Vertias quilt that Gay has is not
one of them. I remember that my most favorite quilt in the
collection was the Lord's Prayer written out in reverse appliqué. I
almost bought that quilt (the entire collection was being sold off)
but I was very much afraid to take responsibility for the
preservation of such a delicate quilt.
The sign with the exhibit explaining about Bertha Meckstroth had the
following copy, which I offer for information. Perhaps you can use
some of this for clues to start further investigation.
"Bertha Amelia Meckstroth was born in 1875, in Le Sueur, Minnesota,
the same valley from which came the Mayo family and the Sears
"She wanted originally to be a sculptress, but being a very tiny
person she gave up the idea in favor of working with lighter
materials, and became instead a 'sculptress in cloth'.
"Her older sister, Anna Lydia, married Richard Sears, the founder of
Sears, Roebuck & Company in 1895, and with the Sears' help, Bertha
graduated from Radcliffe College in 1906.
"Bertha's sister indulged her with the finest Chinese silks and
Egyptian cottons, which are used in may of these quilts and
hangings. Trapunto and reverse appliqué were her favorite
techniques, the lettering is always reverse appliqué. Bats had a
special place for Bertha in the Christian calendar, gathering at
Advent, proliferating during Lent, and then disappearing by Easter,
they are consistently appliquéd and quilted into her work.
"Bertha and the quilters in Kentucky and Tennessee who completed
much of the actual quilting always used a #10 needle.
"Bertha Meckstroth lived in Glencoe (Illinois), at 'Casa
Tranquilla', and died there in 1960. Her faith and love of the earth
are recorded in this fragile legacy of exquisite needlework. This
exhibit, only a part of her life's work, is made possible through
the gracious cooperation of Barat College, Lake Forest (Illinois),
now owners of this collection."
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 22:55:35 -0500
From: "Barbara Vlack" <email@example.com>
Liz wrote one of the definitive books on Amish quiltmaking with
co-author Robert Bishop. It's "A Gallery of Amish Quilts". Copyright
1976. Bishop's name is listed first. Liz is from Batavia, IL, which
is practically next door to where I live in St. Charles, IL. I have
known Liz for many years. She is the director of a local
organization for preservation of historical buildings.
Amish Quilts, by Robert Bishop and Elizabeth Safanda, 1976, E.P.
Co., New York, reprinted 1991 by Laurence King Ltd (UK), ISBN
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 22:18:03 -0700
I missed the post from Gay on Bertha's quilts, but if she's looking
for her quilts,
I believe the Shelburne museum has one, where she has put a verse
from the bible across it in reverse appliqué, and the letters are in old
English style- it's amazing. Flower tops travel down the sides of the top. it
is green letters and flowers on white. it is in one of their books on their
collection, and I was lucky enough to see it in person. I also came across
information that said she did not do the quilting, which was also remarkable,
echo style, because she found that part boring!
Images was great this year. The entire town of Lowell was alive with
every kind of quilts, old, art and new. I stopped by Kris and John's
booth, meeting them for the first time. They are amazing and inspirational.
They really are taking it all in stride- big smiles on their faces, gracious,
and grateful that everyone was ok- even one cat was found, that they thought
had perished. If that wasn't enough- i even got to go into the famous Quiltbus,
which I had only heard about. it's such a good idea!
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 09:34:24 EDT
Elizabeth Safanda wrote, along with Bob Bishop, one of the first
Amish quilts. She has moved from the Philadelphia area and I believe
living in the Chicago area. She has not been involved in the field in
time. Wonderful person!
I am not at home or would site the book.
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 12:06:35 -0400
I am not at home to check my files and won't be for several more
weeks, but did Joyce Gross write of Betha Meckstroth in the pages of
"Quilters Journal" when she was still publishing it?
Gay, what did you post about Betha? Somehow I missed your post. I
may have inadvertently deleted your post. I have been having a hard
time keeping up this summer from my island retreat on this very
ancient slow computer and am way behind. <g>
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 15:51:50 -0400
From: "pepper cory" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hello friends-With Marsha's permission, I am posting this to the QHL
One of Marsha's titles is 'Feathered Star Queen' and she can keep it
as I'm concerned! From Pepper Cory who's made all of one Feathered
bloack and sworn off the pattern!
"Because of my work with Feathered Stars, I have been invited to
of antique Feathered Star Quilts for the Museum of the American
Society in March, 2003. They have had a series of contests and shows
"New Quilts from an Old Favorite" and for 2003 the theme is
So, I'm looking for good quality antique Feathered Star Quilts for
exhibit. If you own one or know of one that might be available,
me at McCloskey1@aol.com.
Any help you can give me with this project would be most
Feathered Star Productions, Inc.
7001 Third Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98117
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 22:50:42 -0400
From: "Cinda Cawley" <email@example.com>
I know you'll never believe this, but as I was sitting at my Bernina
with Rolling Stone blocks (before I turned on my computer to check
Robert Bishop popped into my head, closely followed by Elizabeth
Gallery of Amish Quilts was one of the very first quilt books I
Thank you all for helping me; the "senior moment" was driving me
Cinda on the drought stricken Eastern Shore
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 22:59:38 -0400
From: "Cinda Cawley" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I had dinner recently with a lady who belongs to my Guild who
grew up in
rural Delaware in the 1930s. The women in her family did all sorts
needlework and the kitchen was the sewing room. One evening she saw an
older cousin "take the pattern from an embroidered quilt by covering
blocks with tissue paper and rubbing the paper with the back of a
which she would periodically run through her hair. Since women
hair much less often than we do today, the oil from the hair left
above the embroidery stitches."
Barb Vlack mentioned that she loves stories from this period. I
this is a good one.
Cinda on the Eastern Shore
Date: Sat, 24 Aug 2002 16:33:48 -0400
From: "Dee Stark" <email@example.com>
This message was posted on a list for quilt teachers. I definitely
response is called for......
> You may all have heard about this, but if not, you may like to
> the Wall Street Journal. Many other quilters will be writing.
> the editor's address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
> MUSEUMS COZY UP TO QUILTS
> It's High Season for Blankets,
> But Patrons Ask: Is It Art?
> Competing with El Greco
> By BROOKS BARNES
> Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
> Museum curators have a lot to worry about in these tough times:
> security, damaged art.
> And now ... bedbugs?
> >From Colorado to Connecticut, some of the season's biggest
> have nothing to do with van Gogh and Vermeer -- they're all about
> Indeed, the kind of bedcovers that look like something from Aunt
> have made it to a surprising number of big-city museums, from "The
> Surface" in Columbus, Ohio, to "The Quilts of Gee's Bend,"
> Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Another museum on the tour -- New
> Whitney Museum of American Art.
> But here's a question: Is it art? Curators and auctioneers are
> out that this is legitimate stuff, with its own masterworks and
> they say, quilts are great for attendance, pulling in a lot of
> wouldn't otherwise set foot in a museum. But many everyday
> they're surprised to see the usual fare replaced by beaux-arts
> stuff's not art, they say -- it's crafts.
> Kelly Howard, for one, made a recent trip to the UBS PaineWebber
> Manhattan after friends raved about its exhibit of rare Tibetan
> Instead, she found a show called "Six Continents of Quilts,"
> appear in national and international museums for the next four
> honest, I'm a little disappointed," the New York actress says. Two
> showpieces -- one with yellow police tape woven into it and another
> incorporated computer circuitry -- did catch her eye. "I'm glad
> hanging on a wall," she says, because they would "hurt somebody
> This isn't the first time quilts have made the museum scene. The
> mounted the first major-museum quilt show back in 1971, and a Civil
> quilt sold for $264,000 at Sotheby's in the in the mid-'90s. But in
> these pieces rarely made it beyond folk-art museums and the
> circuit -- until now. Suddenly, quilts seem to be coming out all
> eight big shows hitting art museums around the U.S. this year. The
> development: quilt subgenres. Indianapolis is cozying up to 50
> works, while Yale University Art Gallery is highlighting "Nine
> After all, adherents argue, if mosaics and collages are art, why
> "They're highly refined objects that often address important
> themes," says Nancy Druckman, director of Sotheby's folk-art
> the nation has 20 million quilters -- a hefty, built-in audience
> these displays.
> But there may be another, more prosaic reason for the quilt craze:
> are cheap to mount. And museums need that, especially at a time
> is falling, outside funding is drying up and insurance costs are
> Insuring a quilt exhibition costs "peanuts" compared with even
> painting or sculpture show, says Michele Twyman, who handles
> insurance. Shipping's cheaper, too: While a large painting may cost
> transport from Houston to New York, quilts of the same size can go
> $400. "They're a cinch compared to traditional artworks," says
> Schwartz, president of Atelier 4, a New York art-shipping outfit.
> An Easy Sell
> Better still, quilts are an easy sell to finicky corporate sponsors
> like uncontroversial art. Even Kenneth Lay, former chief executive
> a sponsor of "Gee's Bend." (The show features denim, corduroy
> quilts by African-American women in rural Alabama.) "Everybody
> it," says Shelly Zegart, the show's consulting curator. The Museum
> Arts, Houston expects the show to attract 110,000 visitors during
> run there -- on a par with the "Masterworks from El Greco to
> will follow it.
> Still, some visitors hoping for Brancusi are disappointed to find
> Dallas teacher Michelle Woodall was thinking about hitting the
> as part of her junior high class's upcoming field trip to the
> Center. But when she saw the fall exhibition schedule, she nixed
> "Quilts that keep you warm, in an art museum?" she says.
> She may want to brace for more shows like it, though. Quilting is
> piece of a broader patchwork of fields that are gaining recognition
> world. Glass, ceramics, clothing, even "fiber arts" (grass
> up in big museums at a time when, coincidentally or not, budgets
> tightest in a decade. The St. Louis Art Museum is showing "The Art
> Cloth" while the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is showing ladies'
> A MORE PROSAIC REASON FOR THE CURRENT QUILT CRAZE: THESE SHOWS ARE
> But even the folks in the art world think museums should raise the
> a bit. "No more quilts!" begs Jonathon Glus, a municipal
> public-art projects for Pasadena, Calif., calling institutions that
> treatment to quilts "essentially lazy." Adds Josephine Gear, a
> professor at New York University: "Just because something is
> mean it belongs in a museum."
> Write to Brooks Barnes at email@example.com
> Updated August 23, 2002
Date: Sat, 24 Aug 2002 17:03:16 -0700
From: Gaye Ingram <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Re Dee's transmission of piece of WSJ condescension:
Isn't this part of another story----the one that begins "a prophet is
without honor except in his own country"? Pity the poor actress who
search of cultural artifacts from Tibet and found instead artifacts
own native land.
From the outset, American artists have had to deal with the
if it were produced on our shores, it (whatever "it" may
books, food) is somehow inferior. Tibet, oui. Kansas, non
But this review also bears the mark of another sort of provincialism
it's made by women or for use in the home, it can't be art. Yes,
our high school art students down to see "Broadway Boogie" at MOMA.
please don't suggest they take a new look at the arrangement of
space, and color in "Aunt Bertha's blankie." After all, Aunt Bertha
woman. And she made this for her domestic interior. Domesticity and
women---definitely NOT-ART in 2002. The condescension drips from
The American art establishment has grown wealthy reminding Americans
are innocent of what constitutes art. It sneers at their reluctance
support public funding for fecal renderings. See the emporer's new
Aren't they gorgeous? And should they fail to see those clothes, they
dismissed with a "How would you know anyway?"
This piece is unworthy of the WSJ.
Date: Sat, 24 Aug 2002 20:30:33 EDT
Indeed and indeed. Especially since Robert Hughes, one of the great
critics/snobs of our day, *wrote one of the definitive books on Amish
quilts*. These idiots at the WSJ should know better.
I know Shelly's on this list - what's her take on being quoted? Was
reporter this condescending during the interview?
As for the WSJ...you'd think that this organ of "traditional
thrilled at the popularity of such a traditional female art form. I
it's a nice little crafty thing to keep the ladies occupied, no?
Lisa Evans (who may need to take another blood pressure pill after