Tuesday, November 3, 2009

1889 Seattle Crazy Quilt has Chinese Connection

Here are some of the women of the Langde Miao village south of Kaili in Southwestern China. I mentioned them in my previous post and promised to show some of them stitching away while others in the village are entertaining the visiting Americans in the village square.

I liked to walk around and capture unexpected moments behind the public scene when visiting these villages. No one seemed to mind. I especially enjoyed capturing a number of women in this village with needlework in their hands. I wish I could have had my own personal translator with me all day to ask them just about their needleowrk!

Speaking of needlework, I’ve just gotten word that an upcoming episode of the PBS series Antiques Roadshow. Titled “Relative Riches” (airing Monday, November 23 at 8/7C PM on most PBS stations) features an exciting quilt discovery: a circa 1890 crazy quilt brought to the Seattle Antiques Roadshow event in 2002.

The quilt was an heirloom, brought for appraisal by the granddaughter of the original maker. Quoting the PR notice: “The back of the quilt was made with silk handkerchiefs, presented to the grandmother by a group of homeless Chinese immigrants in appreciation for her having taken them in after the Seattle Great Fire in 1889. Other local historical materials were woven into the quilt as well, including a ribbon from the Seattle Women’s Christian Temperance Union. The wonderful condition of the quilt and it’s importance as a piece of Seattle history led Roadshow appraiser Nancy Druckman to estimate its value at $10,000.” Spread the word of the broadcast this month.

In addition, there are several other quilt appraisals available for viewing on the Antiques Roadshow Video Archive.

More about the Miao people to come!

Read my first two China post below and stay tuned for more photos of the women and their needlework!

Comments or questions? Contact Karen Alexander by clicking here.

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