Friday, February 13, 2015

The Story Book Quilts of Marion Cheever Whiteside Newton

At the January meeting of the Enchanted Quilters of Lopez Island, I presented a program on the quilts of Marion Cheever Whiteside Newton with accompanying quilts from my own collection.  

A few blocks from Newton's "Little Women" pattern series.

Newton was a trained artist who had one leg rooted in New England and the other in Portland, Oregon. About mid-career, she turned from her success in art to designing some very special Story Book Quilts in the late 1940s, making an international name for herself by the 1950s.  

I based my talk on the research presented by Naida Treadway Patterson at the 1995 annual seminar of the American Quilt Study Group*. You can read Patterson's published research of that 1995 lecture by clicking here, which will take you to the website of the Quilt Index. However, you can't see any of the photos that appeared in the originally published article. But the text is well worth the read. 

You can see the full story of my presentation about Marion Cheever Whiteside Newton with many more photos by clicking here.

I wrote briefly once before about Newton when I was trying to track down the possible source of a quilt I added to my collection in 2013. That post I called Is She Dutch or Hungarian? (Click on the name to go to that post.)

Please feel free to leave a comment if you, too, love the Marion Cheever Whiteside Newton Story Book Quilts or have one or made one!  Also, please leave a comment if you know of others designing similar story book quilts today!

Where to go for accurate Quilt History?

As an aside, I can never resist sharing AQSG*. I have been a member of AQSG since 1981.  This group has provided me with some of the greatest friendships of my adult life as well as some of the most stimulating research seminars one could hope to attend in the field of textile/quilt history!

Many Regional Quilt Study Groups have been formed around the country in the last 20 years, most by members of AQSG, though the regional groups are NOT formerly associated with AQSG.  Yours truly helped form the Washington Quilt Study Group in 2005, along with Joy Neal and Susan Underwood, also AQSG members.  

You can read about the various regional groups by clicking here on Kris Dreissen's Quilt History website.  I highly recommend joining this discussion group so that you can access our past as well as present discussions. There is a wealth of in-depth quilt history discussions that have taken place since 1997 archived on this website. Kris charges a very nominal fee to help with overhead.

Sometimes it feels to me like Kris has been in the quilt business forever. That must say something about how old I am getting myself, not Kris's age! I do know she and her husband once had their quilt business on wheels -- yep, the original Quilt Bus!


I have two more exciting stories to share that have been brought to my attention in the past two weeks. One is about a Comfort Quilt made by young primary school students in Leeds, England, based on a quilt they found on the Quilt Index via the Internet. It just so happens that the quilt their teacher discovered on-line was the Hearts Signature Quilt made by the members of the Enchanted Quilters in 1999 for my mother-in-law, Wini Alexander, when she diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer! Can't wait to share the students' story with you!   Wini's quilt is on the right in this photo.

Just a few of the students who made blocks for this quilt!

Staff writerFebruary 6, 2015 

The other story is about a new Quilt Documentation Project led by A'donna Richardson that is beginning this weekend in the Seattle area. You can read the beginnings the story here by reading this news article whose link was sent me just three days ago.  Unfortunately, I won't be able to get to the first couple of meetings but I am very excited about keeping track of this project.

Read more here: