Monday, November 1, 2010

EQ's Scrapbooks Now Scanned!

At last, the first EQ scrapbook of our history is now scanned so that I can post it here on the EQ blog for everyone to enjoy!

This post begins with the Introductory page to the scrapbook.

Click on each "page" below to enlarge. Also, click on highlighted words so that you can access the links that I share with you in my posts.

There are two corrections to the spelling in the list below: I am told Barbara Kuntz should be Kurutz. Also, Millie Gillespie should be Milly Gillespie. And, in spite of what the newspaper articles report below, Wini Alexander's name is NOT spelled Winnie; and Tammy Cowan's first name ends in a Y not IE. The newspaper article has it spelled both ways.

Lynwood Quilt Show 1984

(NOTE: If you click on each page it will become large enough to be readable. If you click a 2nd time, it will get even larger. To go back to the regular blog page, hit your BACK arrow.)

EQ's FIRST raffle quilt!

The Oak Leaf Quilt below is thought to be the 2nd raffle quilt creatd by EQ members. The yellow sticky notes refers to the three quilts that follow Oak Leaf.

In 1985 several EQ members visited a quilt group in Oak Harbor. The yellow sticky note on the page above refers to the three quilts that follow.

There is no information accompanying the three quilts viewed in Oak Harbor. It looks like it may have been a Show & Tell.

However, my research shows that the pattern in the applique quilt immedialy below is a Mountain Mist pattern called Sweet Peas. Mountain Mist first offered the pattern in 1933. If you can lay your hands on a copy of Mountain Mist's 1957 Blue Book of Quilts, it's a nice little collector's item. It is actually a 6"x8.5", forty-eight page booklet. You will see this quilt on page 25. It is number 37 in their catalogue.

The actual pattern that you could use to make this quilt can be found in the book Mountain Mist Quilt Favorites published by Oxmoor House in 1998.

The following quilt looks like a scrap quilt that could date from anywhere between 1895 - 1915 based on the fabrics in the quilt. The pattern name varies depending upon how the colors are laid out. A few of the blocks lend themselves to the Bow Tie pattern, but the over all use of color does not indicate IMHO a Bow Tie pattern choice by the quilt maker. Because so many light colors were chosen, you lose the Bow Tie effect.

This next one looks to be a quilt top rather than a finished quilt. This kind of two-color cheddar orange and blue was popular in the South after the Civil War. However, I think the shade of blue plus the emboidered lines on the blue fabric (to indicate the floral nature of the design) pushes this quilt into the 1920s. It would be extremely unlikely to see embroidery on the blue between 1865 and 1900.

Sometime in 1986 it must have been decided to incorporate a portion of the logo from the Enchanted Needle's needlework shop as the logo for EQ for this stamp plus the bill shows up in the scrapbook.

On the Alexander Deck in 1986

Here is another early photo of the Enchanted Quilters of Lopez and Shaw taken just two years after EQ got its formal start.

L-R: Millie Cowan, co-owner of the Enchanted Needle shop, Wini Alexander (my MIL and the one who inspired me to launch myself into this amazing journey I have been on since I started studying quilt history in 1981), Kathryn Powell, Sue Kline, Rosemary Beagley, Virginia Avery (guest teacher from Port Chester, New York), Francis Currier, Jerry Currier, Doug Cowan. Jinny Avery went on to be inducted into The Quilters Hall of Fame in July 2006. You can read more about Jinny Avery here on my other blog.

Edmonds Quilt Show - Fall, 1987

In 1988 a quilter from San Bernardino visited Lopez Island as a result of an Elder Hostel tour and met Martha Larson. Later Ellen sent some photos of a quilt exhibit she had seen earlier that year. The photos and letter are now in the EQ scrapbook.

Quoting from the letter accompanying the photos shown below, Ellen wrote,

These quilts were done by black women, many done in the south but they had been collated by someone in Oakland, CA and much of the hand quilting was done by women living in that city. You will note that many of the "patches" will not "match." These were made with what the women had on hand; looking closely you could see all sorts of violations of the laws we have been told we must do. They used any and all sorts of materials, often piecing them within the patches, lace with backing, all sorts of uses like that. It was an interesting exhibit and the freedom of expression made me feel like I didn't have to be so worried about keeping everything precise and straight.

The quilts in the above photos that Ellen B. sent Martha Larson are from an exhibit organized by Eli Leon, a well-known collector of one particular genre of African American quilts.

There has been much controversey within the quilt history world since the early 1980s as to what constitutes a "legitimate" African American quilt.

Even within the African American community the subject generates controversey. It's all quite interesting reading so if you are inclined to enjoy pursing historical or sociological controversies, whether the voices come from "the academy" or the "lay historian", here are a few links to browse.

If you can read only one item, I highly recommend the Introduction to Leigh Fellner's Betsy Ross Redux which you can find here.

For African American quilts in children's literature, click here or Every Month is Black History Month.

If you enjoy the geometry within the one particular genre of African American quilts, by all means be sure to read Fractal Geometry in African American Quilt Traditions by Judy Bales.

Kyra Hicks, a personal friend of mine in the quilt history world, has written a story for children about one African American quilter based on factual history, Martha Ann's Quilt for Queen Victoria.

You can see Kyra's books here. I also highly recommend Kyra's blog which you can access from this same link. Kyra will share with you and link you to some of the most wonderful African American story quilts being created today.

If you have stuck with me this far, good for you! Now for a break for both of us! More to come!

EQ's Roving Reporter and Historian signing off until next time!

Karen Alexander

PS: If you are really a glutton for punishment, check out my personal quilt history blog, Quilt History Reports.

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