On this day in 1904, Theodor Geisel, better known to the world as Dr. Seuss, the author and illustrator of children’s books as “The Cat in the Hat” and “Green Eggs and Ham,” was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. Before he started writing children’s books Geisel created artwork for a very successful whimsical ad campaign for Flit insecticide.
This quilt (detail view), titled “There’s a Bug in My Computer,” was made by celebrated quiltmaker Helen Kelley in 1978. The caption, “Quick, Henry — The Flit!” is hand quilted into the top, referencing the slogan for Geisel’s popular ads.
Weary of the winter weather? I hope this parade of Presidential quilts will cheer you up on this Presidents Day! These quilts were made between 1917 and 2000 in Arizona, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina and West Virginia.
The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan is one of forty museums who have contributed quilt records to The Quilt Index as part of the Michigan Quilt Project (see a complete list here with links to quilts in each collection).
Included in the Henry Ford permanent collection are thirteen quilts made by Susan McCord (1829-1909), “…an ordinary Indiana farmwife with an extraordinary genius for quilt making.”
McCord’s quilts range in style from crazy quilts to an intricate hexagon mosaic to an original design of thirteen hand appliqued strips of vines. This text is included in all of McCord’s quilt records:
McCord, like other thrifty housewives of the era, sewed her quilts from fabric she had on hand, mostly clothing scraps. Her everyday life was filled with household and farm chores; her “scraps” of leisure time were filled with masterful quilt making. Susan and her husband Green McCord farmed an eighty-acre farm in McCordsville, Indiana. Here Susan McCord kept house, brought up her children, sewed clothing for her family, knitted accessories, practiced homeopathic medicine, read her bible through each year, participated in sewing bees, gardened, took care of the cows and chickens–and found time to make at least thirteen extraordinary bed quilts. McCord used traditional materials, techniques and patterns—but her considerable skill at manipulating fabric, color and design turned the traditional into something exceptional. McCord’s bed coverings stand as the extraordinary legacy of an otherwise little-known Indiana farmwife.
Weathervane is one of more than 200 Browse by Pattern categories users can select to Cruise & Use the Quilt Index. Here are four of the 22 Weathervane quilts that I browsed.
My favorite (today): this machine pieced and hand quilted pink beauty by Ethel Tew of Lake Odessa, Michigan in 1945. The quilt was documented in 2005 as part of the Michigan Quilt Project.
Browse the Weathervane quilts documented in the Quilt Index today to find your favorite.
Today’s quest to Cruise & Use the Quilt Index took me to the Browse by Pattern Page where I chose Melon Patch. Initially my browse returned this happy grid view:
Then I narrowed down my search by selecting a few quilts to compare.
Enjoy these two beauties and seek out the others for a little taste of summer on this cloudy (in Appalachia at least) Monday.
Did you know that you can search The Quilt Index by Fabric Fiber, Fabric Type and Fabric Pattern?
Combining one of these fields with one or more of the 19 other fields (Pattern Name, Period, State Made, Predominant Colors to name a few) will allow you to narrow your search or take you down a customized browsing path.
I searched State Made: Illinois and Fabric Fiber: Polyester! The search returned nine quilts and I selected three to compare clicking on the Compare box under each quilt and then clicked on the Compare Now link at the top of the page. The resulting view allows me to see the three quilts side-by-side. I can even click on individual quilt images to enlarge and move around the page.
Enjoy this Poly Parade and try your own Search by Fabric today!
A Thousand Pyramids is one of more than 200 patterns that you can access through the Browse by Pattern feature in The Quilt Index. Here’s a fun video showcasing a handful of these stunning quilts.
Watch and enjoy and then visit the Browse by Pattern page to start your own self-guided tour of The Quilt Index today.
Just what the doctor ordered to light up your week—a half dozen Morning Stars spanning two centuries and six states. Enjoy!
You can Browse more Morning Start quilts in The Quilt Index here. Watch a video tutorial on using the Browse by Pattern feature in The Quilt Index here:
The Quilt Index website currently contains more than 62,000 records of quilts, quilt-related ephemera, and quilt journals. This free-to-all online resource is a treasure trove for anyone who loves quilts, but finding a way to use and enjoy this massive repository can be daunting. To help our users, especially those new to the website, we have started a video series called Cruise & Use. This set of short videos will offer steps and tips for browsing and searching the Index as well as how-to’s for using tools and resources on the site.
Did you know that you can compare and contrast multiple quilts on one page? Have you tried the Zoom tool to see a quilt in closer detail? In the most recent Cruise & Use video we’ll show you how navigate your own private tour of New York Beauty quilts documented in the Index by using the Browse by Pattern feature.
Watch this 2-minute video and give us your feedback here or via email!