This week’s Scrap Bag has even more news and tidbits: two statewide documentation projects, quilting as outreach among a Canadian First Nation community, how the maker of a 19th-century quilt was identified by a team of researchers, quilting metaphors in the latest from one of America’s leading playwrights, and an exciting discovery of a centuries-old shipwreck that yielded a silk dress in relatively good shape all things considered (includes bonus video in Dutch!).
Do you need to have your faith in humanity bolstered or restored? Then you need to read this story about “Granny” Buckner, an angel among us if such a thing is possible. In addition to running a sewing shop in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she offers free quilting classes to young people in her neighborhood, Buckner fostered hundreds of kids over the course of the last few decades in addition to raising her own eight children and serving as a preacher in the family church. Seriously, you need to read this story.
How do quilt historians determine the origin of antique quilts when all they have to go on is scraps of information? A 19th-century hexagon quilt was an artifact in the Gregg-Graniteville Archives in South Carolina, but its origins had been lost to history. It took a team effort by librarians, archeologists, textile curators and quilt historians to determine an attribution of which they feel confident.
Here’s a source for general design inspiration that may appeal most to film buffs. Director Wes Anderson (“The Royal Tenenbaums,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel”) is known for the very specific art direction of his films, giving them a unique look that in turn informs the story. In particular he is known for framing very symmetrical scenes, the types of which rarely if ever exist in real life, and for stylized color palettes that tie together costume and decor. The point being, this Tumblr has a number of color palettes taken from Anderson films that might be helpful if you’re searching for color combinations.
Eight women have just completed their first bargello quilts as part of a new workshop offered through the Pulaarvik Kablu Friendship Centre in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, Canada. The quilting workshop was designed to offer women in the Kivalliq community a space to talk about their relationships, an outgrowth of a program that hosts sessions on healthy relationship building and anger management in Rankin Inlet’s schools and its local healing facility.
What constitutes “cheating” when it comes to quilting? As the Quilt Scout, Mary Fons addresses the persistent notion held by some quilters that to use a machine, specifically for applique, is Against The Rules.
The West Virginia Quilt Documentation Project is holding a series of documentation days, beginning in April in Huntington and continuing in June at the West Virginia Quilt Festival in Summersville.
The Delaware Quilt Documentation Project will host a Quilt Documentation Day April 30 at the Lewes Presbyterian Church. Owners of quilts made before 1950 are encouraged to bring their quilts to this documentation process; appointments are recommended.
Mary Page Marlowe, the latest work by playwright Tracy Letts (August: Osage County), just opened at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre. In it, one character is played by six different actresses over the course of her life. This review in the Journal Sentinel digs a bit into the quilt metaphors in the play, from its non-linear structure to an antique quilt described by the the oldest Mary Page that she’d forgotten she owned.
A group of Dutch divers recently found a 17th-century chest containing a surprisingly well-preserved collection of clothing, books and other items that may have once belonged to an English noblewoman buried in a shipwreck under the Wadden Sea off the coast of the Netherlands. “Of all the items recovered from the wreck, perhaps one of the most fascinating is the silk dress, which was in remarkably good shape after centuries buried underwater. While the dress is made of fine textiles, conservators say it was likely made for a noblewoman’s everyday use because it lacks fancy embroidery and decorative beads.” Click the link to see photos; the video below doesn’t have English subtitles* but shows close-ups of the items.
*Based on the music, though, it seems this is being presented as a rather dramatic find.
North Valley Stars by Barbara Eikmeier is one of the prettiest quilts I’ve had the pleasure of hanging on my cubicle wall to write the pattern for, and I’ve patterned a lot of pretty quilts. I love how Barb’s setting of basic blocks — Ohio star, swamp angel, 54-40 or fight — and her fabric placement in a monochromatic palette creates the illusion of curving lines and a diagonal setting without requiring either technique. This traditional pattern is rated intermediate and will keep you busy for a while, especially if you give it the heirloom-quality quilting it deserves, but the results will be well worth your time and effort.
You can find the full pattern for North Valley Stars in the April/May 2016 issue of QN; it’s also available individually as a digital download. A kit containing fabric for the quilt top and binding is available, as is thebacking fabric, from quiltandsewshop.com.
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