Posted on 04-24-2014
Filed Under (On This Day in History Quilt) by amymilne

On this day in 1800, the Library of Congress was established using $5,000 appropriated by President John Adams to purchase “such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress.”Today, the collection, housed in three enormous buildings in Washington, contains more than 17 million books, as well as millions of maps, manuscripts, photographs, films, audio and video recordings, prints, and drawings. The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, created by Congress in 1976, is the national center for folklife documentation and research.

Bertha Marion of Galax, Virginia made this Applique Rose quilt in August 1978. It was documented by the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress as part of the Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project. This ethnographic field project was conducted by the American Folklife Center in cooperation with the National Park Service and includes 229 photographs and 181 recorded interviews with six quiltmakers in Appalachian North Carolina and Virginia.

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Posted on 04-23-2014
Filed Under (On This Day in History Quilt) by amymilne

On this day in 1564, William Shakespeare was born according to the church record of his baptism. He lived to age 52 and is credited for authoring 38 of the most analyzed and performed plays in history.

This quilt, titled “Idiot Star,” was made by the late quiltmaker and writer Helen Kelley in 1989. Celebrated for her affinity for color and storytelling in her work, Kelley included this inscription on the back of the quilt: “Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May” Shakespeare/ made by one rosebud and five American beauties/The quilt belongs to me/ Helen Kelley 1989.” These names are inscribed on the front of the quilt, one per block: Marge Anderson, Connie Pluhar, Helen Kelley, Helen Lange, Mary L.Chmiel, Norma Ahlquist. The quilt was documented by the Minnesota Quilt Project in 2009.

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On this day in 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated to increase awareness of the world’s environmental problems. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin came up with the idea hoping to pull together grassroots environmental groups and increase ecological awareness.

Elsie Zietlow Schlicht machine pieced the blocks for this Spiderweb quilt in the 1930’s-1940’s in the LaCross area of Wisconsin. Her daughter, Arlene Schlicht Quandt, assembled the quilt in the 1970′s in Jefferson, Wisconsin. The quilt was repaired in 1980/1990′s. A friend of the quiltmakers now owns the quilt and documented it in 2005 as part of the Wisconsin Quilt History Project.

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Posted on 04-21-2014
Filed Under (On This Day in History Quilt) by amymilne

“On this day in 1777, British troops under the command of General William Tryon attacked the town of Danbury, Connecticut, and begin destroying everything in sight. Facing little, if any, opposition from Patriot forces, the British went on a rampage, setting fire to homes, farmhouse, storehouses and more than 1,500 tents.” (http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/british-attack-danbury-connecticut)

This hand appliqued and hand quilted Tree of Life (Palampore) quilt was made by an unknown quilter in 1777 in New Jersey. From this Quilt Index record:

“The central motif was cut from a single printed textile and stitched to the background fabric. Additional branches were expertly added to give the design needed width. Free form leaves were appliqued in the corners above the tree. The extremely fine quilting includes crosshatching and tiny clamshells the size of the end of a finger. Free formed shaped leaves appliqued in corners above trees.”

The quilt is owned by the Drake House in Plainfield, New Jersey and was documented as part of the Heritage Quilt Project of New Jersey.

 

 

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Posted on 04-11-2014
Filed Under (On This Day in History Quilt) by amymilne

On this day in 1968, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act, which prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental or financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin. Gender was added to that list of criteria in 1974 and people with disabilities in 1988.

Debra Lynn Miller machine pieced and Kris Neifield machine quilted this “Trees & Houses” quilt in 2002. The design is a reproduction of a Trees pattern from the 1930’s.  Miller created the quilt in a class taught by Beverly Dunivent in Big Bear, California, and documented it as part of the Arizona Quilt Documentation Project.

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Posted on 04-10-2014
Filed Under (On This Day in History Quilt) by amymilne

On this day in 1866, philanthropist and diplomat Henry Bergh founded the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in New York City. Bergh witnessed cruelty to work horses during his diplomatic post in Russia and was determined to get anti-cruelty laws passed back in the United States. The ASPCA was based on a similar organization in England, and it quickly became the model for more than 25 other humane organizations in the U.S. and Canada, including the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

Pauline Salzman of Treasure Island, Florida, made this small wall quilt, titled “Get a Dog,” for the 2008 Quilt Alliance contest,

“My Quilts/Our History.” From Salzman’s artist’s statement: In the tradition of Harriette Powers . . . I try to do quilts that tell a story. It just can’t always be another pretty picture. I need to learn something and sometimes just have fun. I would like the viewer to see my quilts on different levels. The first being the overall view, the second the directional quilting and in this case the writing. I hope it makes you smile.”

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Posted on 04-09-2014
Filed Under (On This Day in History Quilt) by amymilne

On this day in 1887, African American composer, arranger and teacher Florence Beatrice Smith Price was born in Little Rock, Arkansas to a teacher/entrepreneur and a dentist. Young Florence played her first piano recital at age four, taught by her mother. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra presented Price’s Symphony in E Minor during the Chicago World’s Fair (Century of Progress Exposition) in 1933, marking the first time a symphony by a black woman had been performed by a major symphony orchestra.

Mary Gasperik made this “Star Arcturus—Century of Progress” quilt based on patterns shared in the Nancy Cabot newspaper column in 1933 that honor the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition. Susan Salser, Gasperik’s grand-daughter, began researching her grandmother’s quilts in 1991, after she and her two sisters divided up the quilts which belonged to their mother (Elsie Gasperik Krueger) who died in 1988. The Mary Gasperik Quilts consist of more than 80 full-sized quilts plus numerous miniatures and studies created in Chicago between 1933 and 1967 by Hungarian immigrant and award winning quiltmaker Mary Gasperik.

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Posted on 04-08-2014
Filed Under (On This Day in History Quilt) by amymilne

On this day in 563 B.C., Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, was born as Prince Siddhartha in the kingdom of Sakyas, situated on the borders of present-day Nepal and India. Buddha left a life of great luxury to travel the world and seek inspiration and understanding. He became a Buddha, or supremely enlightened teacher, at age 35 and died at age 80, leaving a community of monks to carry on his work. Today there are an estimated 350 million Buddhists in the world.

Patricia Healey of Poughkeepsie, New York made this 16” x 16” quilt, titled “We Are One” in 2011 for the Quilt Alliance annual contest. Healey wrote this in her artist’s statement: “The traditional Dresden Plate pattern forms a healing mandala. The background fabric reminds me of a Hindu woman’s sari and the gold of Buddhist temples. Gold sparkles throughout the quilt as a reminder of divinity in all its forms. The top border is embellished with charms, amulets and symbols of diverse religious philosophies. When not quilting, I teach Major World Religions at Dutchess Community College.”

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Posted on 04-07-2014
Filed Under (On This Day in History Quilt) by amymilne

On this day in 1915, American jazz icon Billie Holiday was born Eleanora Fagan in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Holiday “apprenticed” with Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong by singing along to their records in after-hours jazz clubs in Baltimore, and by the age of 15, she had moved to New York City with her mother and was singing in Harlem nightclubs for tips. At age 18, she made her first recording as part of a studio group led by Benny Goodman. In the 1930s, Holiday was first introduced to the poem “Strange Fruit,” an emotional piece about the lynching of a black man. Though Columbia would not allow her to record the piece due to subject matter, Holiday went on to record the song with an alternate label, Commodore, and the song eventually became one of Holiday’s classics.

 

April Shipp of Auburn Hills, Michigan made this quilt titled “Strange Fruit: A Century of Lynching” in 2003.  The quilt includes the following inscription:

“Strange Fruit. A Century of Lynching and Murder 1865-1965 (in red machine embroidery) Dedicated to Ida Bell Wells-Barnett (in gold machine embroidery) 100s of names of victims of lynchings and their states (in gold machine embroidery).”

The quilt was documented in 2008 as part of the Michigan Quilt Project. Read the artist’s statement in the full Quilt Index record for this quilt here.

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Posted on 04-04-2014
Filed Under (On This Day in History Quilt) by amymilne

On this day in 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. The 39-year-old civil rights leader was in Memphis to support a sanitation workers’ strike and was on his way to dinner.

Beverly Ann White of Pontiac, Michigan finished this pictorial quilt, titled “View from the Mountain Top” in July 1991. Included in this Quilt Index record is a quote by the artist: “The dedication on this quilt was made to slain civil rights workers [including King] which I describe as warriors for the cause of freedom and equality. I cannot chronicle the brave and valiant fight of each and every one of the honorable souls who have fought for the rights of African-Americans throughout the history of the United States; I can, however, attempt to show several of those heroes who have impressed me.” This quilt is in the Michigan State University Museum collection.

 

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