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The Yellow~Ribbons Project - Quilters who care

Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 22:52:09 EDT
From: Edwaquilt@aol.com

How much feed sack fabric does your friend want. I have lots of
sacks.

Holice

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 22:49:35 -0500
From: "Barbara Vlack" <cptvdeo@inil.com>

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
family.

"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."


Barb Vlack
cptvdeo@inil.com

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 22:55:35 -0500
From: "Barbara Vlack" <cptvdeo@inil.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.
Dutton &
Co., New York, reprinted 1991 by Laurence King Ltd (UK), ISBN
1-85669-012-1

Barb Vlack
cptvdeo@inil.com

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 22:18:03 -0700
From: chrisa@jetlink.net

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!

Kim Wulfert
www.antiquequiltdating.com

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 09:34:24 EDT
From: Trishherr@aol.com

Elizabeth Safanda wrote, along with Bob Bishop, one of the first
books on
Amish quilts. She has moved from the Philadelphia area and I believe
is still
living in the Chicago area. She has not been involved in the field in
a long
time. Wonderful person!

I am not at home or would site the book.

Trish Herr

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 12:06:35 -0400
From: KareQuilt@aol.com

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>

Karen Alexander

------------------------------

-

Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 15:51:50 -0400
From: "pepper cory" <pepcory@mail.clis.com>

Hello friends-With Marsha's permission, I am posting this to the QHL
list.
One of Marsha's titles is 'Feathered Star Queen' and she can keep it
as far
as I'm concerned! From Pepper Cory who's made all of one Feathered
Star
bloack and sworn off the pattern!

"Because of my work with Feathered Stars, I have been invited to
curate a
show
of antique Feathered Star Quilts for the Museum of the American
Quilter's
Society in March, 2003. They have had a series of contests and shows
called
"New Quilts from an Old Favorite" and for 2003 the theme is Feathered
Stars!
So, I'm looking for good quality antique Feathered Star Quilts for
the
exhibit. If you own one or know of one that might be available,
please
e-mail
me at McCloskey1@aol.com.

Any help you can give me with this project would be most
appreciated."

Marsha McCloskey
Feathered Star Productions, Inc.
7001 Third Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98117
1-888-377-STAR (7827)


------------------------------

Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 22:50:42 -0400
From: "Cinda Cawley" <lrcawley@dmv.com>

I know you'll never believe this, but as I was sitting at my Bernina
playing
with Rolling Stone blocks (before I turned on my computer to check
email)
Robert Bishop popped into my head, closely followed by Elizabeth
Safanda. A
Gallery of Amish Quilts was one of the very first quilt books I
bought, too.
Thank you all for helping me; the "senior moment" was driving me
crazy.
Cinda on the drought stricken Eastern Shore

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 22:59:38 -0400
From: "Cinda Cawley" <lrcawley@dmv.com>

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
of
needlework and the kitchen was the sewing room. One evening she saw an
older cousin "take the pattern from an embroidered quilt by covering
the
blocks with tissue paper and rubbing the paper with the back of a
spoon
which she would periodically run through her hair. Since women
washed their
hair much less often than we do today, the oil from the hair left
marks
above the embroidery stitches."
Barb Vlack mentioned that she loves stories from this period. I
think
this is a good one.
Cinda on the Eastern Shore

------------------------------

Date: Sat, 24 Aug 2002 16:33:48 -0400
From: "Dee Stark" <dee@nf2g.com>
To: <qhl@cuenet.com>

This message was posted on a list for quilt teachers. I definitely
think a
response is called for......

> You may all have heard about this, but if not, you may like to
respond to
> the Wall Street Journal. Many other quilters will be writing.
>
> the editor's address is: wsj.ltrs@wsj.com
>
> Ann
>
>
>
>
> 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:
attendance,
> security, damaged art.
> And now ... bedbugs?
>
> >From Colorado to Connecticut, some of the season's biggest
blockbuster
> exhibits
> have nothing to do with van Gogh and Vermeer -- they're all about
quilts.
> Indeed, the kind of bedcovers that look like something from Aunt
Edna's
> boudoir
> have made it to a surprising number of big-city museums, from "The
Quilted
> Surface" in Columbus, Ohio, to "The Quilts of Gee's Bend," which
will hit
> the
> Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Another museum on the tour -- New
York's
> august
> Whitney Museum of American Art.
>
> But here's a question: Is it art? Curators and auctioneers are
quick to
> point
> out that this is legitimate stuff, with its own masterworks and
history.
> Plus,
> they say, quilts are great for attendance, pulling in a lot of
people who
> wouldn't otherwise set foot in a museum. But many everyday
museum-goers
say
> they're surprised to see the usual fare replaced by beaux-arts
blankies:
> This
> stuff's not art, they say -- it's crafts.
>
> Disappointing
>
> Kelly Howard, for one, made a recent trip to the UBS PaineWebber
Art
Gallery
> in
> Manhattan after friends raved about its exhibit of rare Tibetan
artifacts.
> Instead, she found a show called "Six Continents of Quilts," which
is set
to
> appear in national and international museums for the next four
years. "To
be
> honest, I'm a little disappointed," the New York actress says. Two
of the
> showpieces -- one with yellow police tape woven into it and another
that
> incorporated computer circuitry -- did catch her eye. "I'm glad
those two
> are
> hanging on a wall," she says, because they would "hurt somebody on
a bed."
>
> This isn't the first time quilts have made the museum scene. The
Whitney
> mounted the first major-museum quilt show back in 1971, and a Civil
War-era
> quilt sold for $264,000 at Sotheby's in the in the mid-'90s. But in
general,
> these pieces rarely made it beyond folk-art museums and the
historic-homes
> circuit -- until now. Suddenly, quilts seem to be coming out all
over,
with
> eight big shows hitting art museums around the U.S. this year. The
latest
> development: quilt subgenres. Indianapolis is cozying up to 50
food-related
> works, while Yale University Art Gallery is highlighting "Nine
> African-American
> Quilters."
>
> After all, adherents argue, if mosaics and collages are art, why
not
quilts?
> "They're highly refined objects that often address important
historical
> themes," says Nancy Druckman, director of Sotheby's folk-art
department.
> Also,
> the nation has 20 million quilters -- a hefty, built-in audience
for any
one
> of
> these displays.
>
> But there may be another, more prosaic reason for the quilt craze:
These
> shows
> are cheap to mount. And museums need that, especially at a time
when
> attendance
> is falling, outside funding is drying up and insurance costs are
soaring.
> Insuring a quilt exhibition costs "peanuts" compared with even a
modest
> painting or sculpture show, says Michele Twyman, who handles
museums for
> Chubb
> insurance. Shipping's cheaper, too: While a large painting may cost
$1,000
> to
> transport from Houston to New York, quilts of the same size can go
for
about
> $400. "They're a cinch compared to traditional artworks," says
Jonathan
> 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
who
> usually
> like uncontroversial art. Even Kenneth Lay, former chief executive
of
Enron,
> is
> a sponsor of "Gee's Bend." (The show features denim, corduroy and
> cotton-scrap
> quilts by African-American women in rural Alabama.) "Everybody
wants a
piece
> of
> it," says Shelly Zegart, the show's consulting curator. The Museum
of Fine
> Arts, Houston expects the show to attract 110,000 visitors during
its
54-day
> run there -- on a par with the "Masterworks from El Greco to
Picasso" show
> that
> will follow it.
>
> Still, some visitors hoping for Brancusi are disappointed to find
batting.
> Dallas teacher Michelle Woodall was thinking about hitting the
Houston
> museum
> as part of her junior high class's upcoming field trip to the
Johnson
Space
> Center. But when she saw the fall exhibition schedule, she nixed
the plan.
> "Quilts that keep you warm, in an art museum?" she says. "I'd lose
all my
> credibility."
>
> She may want to brace for more shows like it, though. Quilting is
just one
> piece of a broader patchwork of fields that are gaining recognition
in the
> art
> world. Glass, ceramics, clothing, even "fiber arts" (grass baskets)
are
> showing
> up in big museums at a time when, coincidentally or not, budgets
are at
> their
> tightest in a decade. The St. Louis Art Museum is showing "The Art
of
> African
> Cloth" while the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is showing ladies'
hats.
>
> A MORE PROSAIC REASON FOR THE CURRENT QUILT CRAZE: THESE SHOWS ARE
CHEAP
TO
> MOUNT.
>
> But even the folks in the art world think museums should raise the
bar, if
> only
> a bit. "No more quilts!" begs Jonathon Glus, a municipal official
in
charge
> of
> public-art projects for Pasadena, Calif., calling institutions that
give
> star
> treatment to quilts "essentially lazy." Adds Josephine Gear, a
> museum-studies
> professor at New York University: "Just because something is
popular
doesn't
> mean it belongs in a museum."
>
> Write to Brooks Barnes at brooks.barnes@wsj.com
> Updated August 23, 2002
>

------------------------------

Date: Sat, 24 Aug 2002 17:03:16 -0700
From: Gaye Ingram <gingram@tcainternet.com>

Re Dee's transmission of piece of WSJ condescension:

Isn't this part of another story----the one that begins "a prophet is
not
without honor except in his own country"? Pity the poor actress who
went in
search of cultural artifacts from Tibet and found instead artifacts
from her
own native land.

From the outset, American artists have had to deal with the
assumption that
if it were produced on our shores, it (whatever "it" may
be---paintings,
books, food) is somehow inferior. Tibet, oui. Kansas, non

But this review also bears the mark of another sort of provincialism
: if
it's made by women or for use in the home, it can't be art. Yes,
we'll trot
our high school art students down to see "Broadway Boogie" at MOMA.
But
please don't suggest they take a new look at the arrangement of
line,
space, and color in "Aunt Bertha's blankie." After all, Aunt Bertha
is a
woman. And she made this for her domestic interior. Domesticity and
women---definitely NOT-ART in 2002. The condescension drips from
every
sentence.

The American art establishment has grown wealthy reminding Americans
they
are innocent of what constitutes art. It sneers at their reluctance
to
support public funding for fecal renderings. See the emporer's new
clothes?
Aren't they gorgeous? And should they fail to see those clothes, they
are
dismissed with a "How would you know anyway?"

This piece is unworthy of the WSJ.

Gaye

------------------------------

Date: Sat, 24 Aug 2002 20:30:33 EDT
From: Kittencat3@aol.com

Indeed and indeed. Especially since Robert Hughes, one of the great
art
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
the
reporter this condescending during the interview?

As for the WSJ...you'd think that this organ of "traditional values"
would be
thrilled at the popularity of such a traditional female art form. I
guess
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
this)

 
 
 

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