Iowa-Illinois Quilt Study Group
The April 2, 2005 meeting was held at the Kalona
Quilt and Textile
Museum in the Kalona Historic Village.
The pictures below are all thumbnails.
Click on the to see them close up.
The magnolia tree in front of the Kalona Quilt and Textile Museum was
no match to the quilts presented inside the Grout Church located in the
Kalona Historical Village. Last Saturday, 51 quilt historians from Iowa,
Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Missouri came to the beautiful
Midwestern Amish community of Kalona, Iowa to study timeless quilt
treasures with fellow quilt enthusiasts. The group was welcomed by The
Kalona Historical Village President and Marilyn Woodin, the quilt curator
of the Kalona Quilt and Textile Museum.
Cathy Litwinow opened up the morning Show and Share portion of the
meeting and the group was treated to some eye candy.
started the show and share with a Hexagon and Triangle of navy blue, rose,
muslin, and brown dating circa 1870's -- a similar quilt can be found on
pages 38 & 39 of American Quilts from Michigan State University Museum,
2003. Marilyn G. showed a Log Cabin in the Straight Furrow set. The
quilting was done diagonally. The indigo, burgundy, shirting, and pink log
quilt came from an estate in Cambridge, Illinois. Barb showed a Single
Irish Chain-9-patch, which doubled
as an indigo study piece. Other colors were bronze, madder, chrome with
feed sacks used as well. Janice found a lovely Log Cabin at a garage sale
with Baptist fan quilting. With white and pink centers the logs were
Connie brought Grandma Klynn's family treasure. The pinwheel variation
colors were arranged to make identification of the pattern difficult. The
family has always called it the Scrappy Quilt. Susan discovered a basket
quilt made by Carlie Sexton's Aunt Raney. Ms. Raney used mail
order patterns and magazine articles from the 1920's that won her State
Fair awards. Carlie gave the quilt to a neighbor who lived in Wheaton, IL.
The quilt came back to IA. The unusual feature, for a quilt made in the
1930's, was the small scale piecing and the 5 inch featured wreaths in the
setting squares and 3/8th inch grid quilting.
wowed the group with a Bow Tie quilt with 2 and a half inch squares. A
Trip Around the World setting was used. The quilt thought to be made in
Iowa was finished with a now faded red tulip border. Purchased at an
auction in Springfield, Illinois, Vyki's 4-block Cherry Tree Top amazed
the group. The historians in the group discovered the pattern was from a
1922 LADIES HOME JOURNAL. Similar quilts are in the Art Institute of
Chicago and the Denver Art Institute. LHJ sold a transfer
pattern for the quilt. There was a Bucilla kit with four simplified cherry
trees and a few birds. The Tree of Life with birds in the branches and
vases in between had the border vine just basted on. The number of
cherries in the tree's been not counted but close to 40+ per tree.
Jacqueline's sister-in-law's father bought a Rose
Cross with Oak leaf and Tulips - when the husband saw it he hated it so
the quilt became Jacqueline's. The four blocks were set together with the
tiniest green piping between blocks and border. There was wreath quilting.
This pattern was seen in the 1850's-60's.
highlight was the bars and stars quilt brought by Carrie. It was thought
to be handed down from the owner's family. A similar quilt can also be
found on p.31 of Barbara Brackman's QUILTS FROM THE CIVIL WAR. Leona found
a Tumbler quilt which was almost a charm quilt. There were only a few
One unusual conversation print was of a newspaper boy. The top was found
in an Iowa antique mall and finished by quilting in the ditch.
displayed a Burgoyne Surrounded - some of the colors have faded. The quilt
was made by a Great Aunt and given to the owner's mother as a wedding
present at her 1896 wedding. 4-H members might have made the Ruby Short
McKim's Flower Garden Quilt (published in 1930). Some of the flowers were
colored rather embroidered. Signatures (Initials) were embroidered on each
block. The light green alternating blocks were quilted with a four-leaf
clover. Bev exhibited a red and tan baby quilt. This 9-patch set on point
was dated as circa 1880.
quilt purchased in Des Moines, IA at the Marilyn Hines auction came with a
history. Supposedly it was made by a Dr. Park's wife and daughter Jennie
for him to take to the Civil War. The red fabrics were for love of his
wife, the pinks for Jennie, and the blue and whites for the Union. Jennie
died in her 90's and the quilt was given to Mrs. Hines. Jane is the
amazes us each meeting with her fabulous finds. This time it was printing
blocks used to print fabric. The holders' arms got tired holding the heavy
wood and metal pieces. The blocks came from Scotland, the registration
points were seen on each corner so the blocks would line up accurately.
One was a flower pattern and the other could have used for a border.
started a discussion on a tan and dark green quilt with a tape binding,
which could possibly be Amish/Mennonite and from Lancaster, PA. It was
dated circa 1880's.
Log cabin quilt did double duty as an antique in the am and an Indigo
study in the afternoon. Purchased from a Cedar Rapids antique shop, this
Barn Raising set top was a study in the many Indigo's available in the
1870's. Other colors were creams and yellows. The squares were stitched on
a fabric foundation.
700 different fabrics were used to make Kim Cairns' Herringbone/triangle
quilt. Purchased at an antique shop in 2002, only 6 or 7 fabrics were
duplicated. The rich madders and double pinks added to the movement of the
piece. To top it off the back was an Eli Walker fabric. DeLaine
brought a double 4-patch made in the 1880-90's. This was only one of the
few quilts that were machine quilted. Catherine Noll Litwinow ended the
morning show and share by showing paternal twins Dogwood Blossom Applique
Kit Quilts. One had a lime sherbet background and the other a light blue.
The kits were "Progress #1392. It should be noted that the kit was
also available with a peach background.
on the IIQSG meeting agenda was a tour of the current quilt exhibit at the
Kalona Quilt and Textile Museum entitled "Baltimore Beauties from
Iowa." The Baltimore Album Quilts were appliqués by Thuy Nguyen,
these magnificent works of art awed the Study group. This must-see exhibit
is a bit of Maryland in the Midwest.
lunch the group was treated to an afternoon Indigo study. The Indigo
program began with a dye kit demonstration, led by Cathy Litwinow and her
assistant Babette Moorleghan, of the oxygenation needed to turn the yellow
tape which was submerged in a mixture of activated indigo and sodium
hydrosulfite solution. The dyeing kit can be purchased from the Universe
of Science. Inc at www.universityofscience.com.
The Indigo demonstrations items were swept away and an afternoon Indigo
Show and Share began. 6 large tables were filled with examples of a large
variety of Indigo items. The group got to see: 1 Kimono, 1 silk Sari (a
sorry sari), 2 items from the Amana Print Works in the form of an apron
and a pillow, 19 quilts, 11 tops, 4 set of indigo blocks, and a comforter.
Sixteen pieces of new and old indigo fabrics were shown and Da Gama
fabrics (some of these fabrics are available at www.reproductionfabrics.com).
Karan Flanscha shared her Indigo Textile Study notebook with the group.
Some Japanese Indigos were brought -- To make Japanese Indigo, the cloth
is fermented in Japanese Cypress vats. This technique is dying out. (See
the 1994 Sept/Oct PIECE WORK MAGAZINE). With Indigo, a difficult to date
fabric, it is only through discussion and comparing the fabrics used with
the indigo, that some of the pieces were dated.
fabulous Redwork Album Fundraising Signature quilt made by the Ladies
Social Circle, M.E. Church, Keota, Iowa was shown to the group by Rachel
(from the Wilson Memorial Libary) and Andi Reynolds (IIQSG member). Made
in 1890 as a church fundraiser the quilt contains business ads within
blocks ($3.00) and signatures (10 cents). The quilt hung in the M.E.
Church for years until the church closed. A member stored it in her home
for a number of years until it was given to the Wilson Memorial Library,
Keota, Iowa which houses Keota's museum. As of March 2005, this quilt is
being documented and researched. The quilt is approximately 60 x 70 and is
tied at the block intersections.
The group had time to visit the village with special attention given to
the Weaving House. The next meeting of IIQSG is Saturday, August 6, 2005
and we welcome all of you to come.
Sue in Illinois