Reprising a July 7, 2014 post:
On this day in 1877, the first lawn tennis tournament was held at Wimbledon, then a suburb of London. The event, hosted by the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club, attracted twenty-one amateur male competitors. In 1884, the Lady’s Singles was introduced at Wimbledon.
An unknown quilter hand and machine pieced and hand quilted this Robbing Peter to Pay Paul quilt around 1885 in Pennsylvania. From this record:
“The back is made of two different fabrics. The center one has a brown ground with light brown, pink, rose, and red figures, roller printed. It depicts male and female tennis players playing mixed doubles, a women reclining in a hammock with a dog, 2 children playing, parrot tulip, birds, roses, ferns, trees, morning glories, etc.”
The quilt is now in the collection of the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, and it was documented in The Quilt Index as part of the Michigan Quilt Project.
On this day in 1881, the American National Red Cross was founded in Washington, D.C. Founders Clara Barton and Adolphus Solomons started the organization to provide humanitarian aid to victims of war and natural disasters in affiliation with the International Red Cross, for whom Barton had worked during the Franco-Prussian War.
Lillie Fowler Lovett and Red Cross volunteers in Greeneville, Tennessee hand made this Red Cross Quilt around 1917 during the First World War. The relative who inherited the quilt documented it as part of the Quilts of Tennessee project.
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.
On this day in 1936, postmodern dancer and choreographer Trisha Brown was born in Aberdeen, Washington. Brown founded the avante-garde Judson Dance Theater in 1962. She has collaborated with artists Robert Rauschenberg and Laurie Anderson, including the piece “If you couldn’t see me” (1984) danced entirely with her back to the audience. Brown was the first female choreographer to receive the coveted MacArthur Foundation Fellowship “Genius Award.”
Allison Ann Aller created this 16” x 16” crazy quilt titled “Hungarian Medallion” in Washougal, Washington for the Quilt Alliance’s 2014 Inspired By contest/exhibition/auction. Allie wrote in her artist’s statement:
I love Broderie Perse and medallions quilts, so the quilt I chose for my inspiration was the perfect jumping off point. Because I am a crazy quilter, I am used to working in three dimensional surface design, so including such embellishment was inevitable! The colors of course came from the happy Hungarian embroidery that is the focus of the quilt. It is bound in vintage velvet ribbon.
On this day in 1973, former Beatle Ringo Starr earns a solo #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with his pop tune “Photograph.” His second solo hit was “You’re Sixteen” which topped the chart just two months later.
Darlene M. Jones-Reid of Arizona made this Crazy quilt, titled “Mother, Mae & Belle,” in 1996 by recreating a quilt made by her great grandmother, grandmother and great aunt. She used a photo transfer technique to add images of each of the women to the 42” x 34 “ quilt. An excerpt from an essay written by Jones-Reid is included with this record:
I stepped a little closer to take it all in and I completely fell in love with the crazy quilt and these three quilting foremothers I had never known. I wasn’t the only quilter in the family! Hurray! For me and Hurray! for them.
Jones-Reid was inducted into the Arizona Quilters Halls of Fame in 2010 and the Arizona Quilt Documentation Project contributed this record to The Quilt Index in 2014.
On this day in 1934, aspiring dancer Ella Fitzgerald, intimidated by other competitors, changed her act to singing at the last minute and won the Amateur Night at Harlem’s Apollo Theater. Fitzgerald was only seventeen years old and a ward of New York State at the time, having been orphaned two years before. After a failed first attempt singing “The Object of My Affection”, the singer’s second try at the tune brought down the house. By the 1950’s, Fitzgerald had become a jazz legend for her innovative vocal skills.
Lorraine Lyon Fitzgerald of Nebraska pieced this “Delectable Mountains in Rising Sun Setting” quilt top in 1960 and it was documented in 1989 as part of the Nebraska Quilt Project, carried out by the Lincoln Quilters Guild.
On this day in 1827, abolitionist and educator Emily Howland was born in Sherwood, New York. Howland taught the children of freed slaves in Washington, D.C. In 1857, she built a school in Sherwood and personally founded and financially supported fifty other schools for emancipated slaves. She taught in several of these schools and was also active in local to national suffrage movements.
Myla Perkins machine pieced, hand appliqued and machine quilted this quilt, titled “Underground Railroad” (or Grandmother’s Fan variation), in 1984. Perkins made the quilt when she was a member of The Quilting Six group, a small quilting circle in Detroit, Michigan made up of former sorority sisters, college friendships and two sets of sisters. The quilt is owned by the Michigan State University Museum.
On this day in 1945, Wilma Pearl Mankiller, who would become the first female chief of he Cherokee Nation, was born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. She was the sixth of eleven children; her father was full-blooded Cherokee and his mother was a Caucasian of Dutch and Irish descent. Mankiller received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998 for her work on the relationship between the Federal Government and the Cherokee Nation.
This “Indian Boys and Girls Quilt” was made by the Senior Citizens Sewing Club in Cherokee, North Carolina in 1996. The piece was machine and hand pieced and hand quilted by the group who “meet each Wednesday to make quilts, share stories, discuss tribal politics, and speak the Cherokee language.” The quilt is now in the collection of the Michigan State University Museum.
On this day in 1558, 25-year-old Elizabeth succeeded her sister Queen Mary I, beginning the Elizabethan Age. Elizabeth was the daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn and was nicknamed the Virgin Queen because she resisted marriage feeling it would endanger her authority as ruler of England and Ireland.
Elizabeth Briskey Mast made this scrap crib quilt around 1898 in Arthur, Illinois. The 34” x 39” quilt was machine pieced and hand quilted and is now in the permanent collection of the Illinois State Museum, who contributed it to The Quilt Index in 2000.
On this day in 1915, Booker T. Washington, founder of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute (now Tuskegee University) died in Alabama at the age of 59 from congestive heart failure. Washington was born into slavery in rural Virginia and after the Civil War he worked many jobs and still managed to go to school. At age 16 he left home and walked 500 miles to the Hampton Normal Agricultural Institute and took a job as a janitor to pay his room and board.
Eva Perkins Ragsdale of Trevillians, Virginia (about 170 miles from Washington’s birthplace) made this Brick Pattern Quilt around 1915 from checked, striped and plaid wool flannel. The quilt was documented as part of the Kentucky Quilt Project.