Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Western Washington Quilt Study Group salutes the American Quilt Study Group

If you like to learn about antique quilts or the women who made them, this is the group for you!

Come join us for the Western Washington Quilt Study Group meeting Saturday, May 30th, 10:00 a.m. at the LaConner Quilt Museum in LaConner, Washington. WWQSG has a close association with AQSG. (More about AQSG below.) The museum address is 703 S 2nd Street, La Conner, WA 98257

The quilts of the late Sidney Knopf are on exhibit on main floor. Sidney kept a Quilt Journal of the creation of each of her quilts. Most were made in the 80s/90s and due to her illness, several remain just tops. Her husband, Ken, will join us to talk about Siddy and her quilts at our May meeting.

Please feel free to bring a quilt to share.

(Photo of Siddy Knopf Courtesy of LaConner Quilt Museum.)

Afterwards the meeting we will tour the museum and see Shiela Groman's "Vision in Fibers" and Karen Frazin's "Birdscapes."

2001 AQSG Williamsburg Seminar workshop.

Interested in learning more about antique fabrics and quilt history? Check out the AMERICAN QUILT STUDY GROUP by clicking here.

AQSG holds the premiere quilt history seminar in the USA. They also publish a collection of research papers related to some aspect of quilt history every year titled Uncoverings. Click here to search a subject you are interested in. They also publish a meaty newsletter Blanket Statements four times a year.

AQSG's first seminar was held in Mill Valley, CA, in 1980. Some 29 years later it is still going strong! Their annual seminar is now held in a different city each year: 2000 - Rockford IL; 2001 - Williamsburg VA; 2003 - Dallas TX; 2004 - Vancouver WA; 2005 - Denver CO; 2006; Hartford CT; 2007 - Lowell MA; 2008 - Columbus OH. 2009 will be held on the West Coast again in San Jose, California. Come join us! I had the good fortunate to learn about this group just as I got started in quilting so I joined in 1981. My only regret is every seminar I missed for I was able to attend only 1985, 1989 and 1995 due to other committments. But I was able to attend 2000-2007 and look forward to seeing everyone again in 2009.

Not only do you get to hear at least 6 quilt-related research papers presented and see wonderful quilts, you also get to tour the museum quilt collections and some private collections in the cities in which we meet. And the networking among fellow lovers of quilt history has no equal!

See you May 30th!

Karen Alexander
Member of AQSG since 1981

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

1848 Woven Coverlet

I have volunteered to help an historical society identify some of its textiles. However, I know very little about woven textiles.

Anyone ever seen this weaver's name come up before? It reads in two corners in all caps with a dot between each word: MADE . BY . JOHN . SEIBERT . LOWHILL . T . LEHIGH CO - FOR. It also has the date 1848 in two corners. The donor's parents bought a farm house in PA in 1904 and found this coverlet on a shelf in the house.

Click here to email me if you can help me identify this weaver.

Thanks! Karen


A fellow quilt historian wrote me after I posted to the AQSG discussion group:

There were 2 John Seiberts, Senior and Junior, both of Low Hill Twp., Lehigh Co., PA. Senior was born 1796 in PA, died 854, and his coverlets (some undated) were woven between 1843-51. The book I am using, Clarita Anderson, "American Coverlet Weavers and Their Coverlets", says it is impossible to tell whether Jr. or Sr. was the weaver, since they worked over the same period. There was also a son Peter, also weaving, and an apprentice weaver named Benjamin Hall working at the same place. Jr. was b. 1824, Peter b. 1821. Peter also uses "Made by" and "for" in his corner blocks.

Thank you to Xenia Cord


Then I found another John Seibert signed woven coverlet on eBay the same day I posted my story on the AQSG discussion list. Item number: 180350973751. This one is dates 1844.


1) Click here Coverlets from the Historic Textile and Costume Collection.

2) check out the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art's coverlet and quilt collection.

Just enter "coverlets and quilts" in their search engine.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Reading List for Doll & Crib Quilts

Here is the list I promised those who attended the WWQSG Doll Quilt program March 29.


1) "A Child's Comfort: Baby & Doll Quilts in American Folk Art," Johnson, Bruce (1977) Harcourt Brace & Janovitch
2) "American Doll Quilts," Tracy, Kathleen (2004) Martingale & Co.
3) "Amish Crib Quilts Fr the Midwest: The Sara Miller Collection," Smucker, Janneken, Patricia Cox Crews & Linda Welters (2003)Good Books, PA

4) "Amish Crib Quilts," Pellman, Rachel and Kenneth (1985) Good Books, PA
5) "At Grandma's Knee," Vibert, Joan & Joyce Whittier (1985) Evening Star Farm/Leawood, KS
6) "Childhood Treasures: Doll Quilts By and For Children," Waldvogel, Merikay (2008) Good Books/PA

7) "Classic Crib Quilts & How to Make Them," Woodard & Greenstein (1993) Dover
8) "Crib Quilts & Other Small Wonders," Woodard & Greenstein (1981) E.P. Dutton, NY
9) "For Purpose and Pleasure: Quilting Together in 19th Century America," Fox, Sandi (1995) Rutledge

10) "Memories of Childhood: The Great Am Quilt Festival," Atkins, Jacqueline M., Museum Editor (1989) Museum of American Folk Art
11) "Childhood Dreams: A Book of Crib Q Projects," Gallagher, Susan Bennett (1989) Sterling Pub., Co. NY
12) "Small Endearments: 19th Century Quilts for Children," Fox, Sandi (1985) Scribner's
(13) "Great Little Quilts: 45 Antique Crib abd Doll-size Quilts with Patterns and Directions," Levie, Eleanor (1990)Harry N. Abrams, Inc. NY


1) "The Crib-Size Quilt" by Peto, Florence, Woman's Day magazine, Dec 1951, pg. 72-75 & 125-127
2) "Embroidered Summer Spreads" by Pinka, Sharon, “Blanket Statements”/AQSG/ Winter 08-09/Issue #94, pg. 1, 3-5
3) "Pint-Size Patchwork" by Ghormley, Mary, Quilters Newsletter Magazine, 6/1/2004, pg 30-33
4) "Juvenile Kit Quilts" by Zimmerman, Darlene, McCall's Quilting/Vintage Quilts, Spring 2001, pg. 5-51
5) The Psychology of Collecting Crib Quilts by Wheeler, Beth, Patchwork Quilts magazine, Dec/Jan 96-97, pg. 16-20
6) "The Story Book Quilts of Marion Cheever Whiteside Newton" by Patterson, Naida T., Piecework mag, Sept/Oct'97 pg. 38-43
7) "Marion Cheever Whiteside Newton: Designer of Story Book Quilts, 1940-1965" by Patterson, Naida Treadway, Uncoverings 1995/AQSG
8) "This Old Quilt" by Roy, Gerald E., Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting, Sept/Oct 2006, pg. 12,14,16
9) "Small and Smaller" by Gunter, Judith and Phyllis Twigg Hatcheer, Quilters Newsletter, Oct 2007, pg. 50-54

Sunbonnet Sue as seen on eBay early April 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Quilt Study Group Features Doll Quilts

Can you guess who is behind each quilt?

Fourteen enthusiastic quilters and quilt history aficionados gathered at the La Conner Regional Library on Sunday morning March 29. It was exciting to see so many new faces!  After presenting a history of doll quilts spanning some 100 years using quilts from my personal  collection, we had an exciting Show & Tell.

Left - 1900 scrappy claret and blue (11x14) from collection of Margot Mead.

It is always such fun to hear people's stories about what drew them to quilting. Equally fun is to hear the stories they have to share about the quilts the have brought. I'll post those shortly as I gather them.

(Above gold and blue Nine Patch from collection of Margot Mead - 11"x14")

Back of Chinese Coins below right.

Be sure to visit the International Quilt Study Center to see more quilts as well is the QUILT INDEXto see more quilts.

(left-9x14 Chinese Coins from collection of Margot Mead.)

To view a podcast about doll quilts click here.

This will take you to the video of Mary Ghomley as talks about her doll quilt collection. You will have to scroll down to about the 14th lecture to find the one on doll quilts – "Childhood Treasures: Quilts Made for and by Children". IQSC featured an exhibit of Ghormley's doll quilts from Oct 2006-March 2007.

Left (16x24): from the collection of Kim Kellem. Made by her mother (Connie Lou Kellog Anderson) and Connie’s grandmother (Lou Rankin Olsen) in the late 30s.

Above right: cotton scrappy crazy (10x14) from collection of Margot Mead.

I’ll be posting a list of books about doll and crib quilts soon. Once you read my list, I hope you will email me the names of other books about doll or crib quilts or contain a chapters on this subject to add to the list.

Another favorite past-time is collecting old photographs of children with quilts or children with dolls. I'll share some from time to time.

After our meeting we trooped over to the LaConner Quilt Museum. It was the last day of Patricia Ormsby Stoddard's exhibit of Ralli Quilts, the traditional textiles from Pakistan and India. They were magnificent! It was such a treat to finally see these quilts in person after only being able to view them in the pages of Stoddard's book for the past 5 years. Also on exhibit for the last day was "All Things Not Quilted", a mesmerizing assemblage of everything except quilts--knitting, weaving, lace making, basket weaving, sewing, embroidery etc.

Meanwhile, keep those needles flying! Otherwise future quilt historians might run out of quilts to study!

Karen Alexander

PS: The folks behind the quilts!

PPS: The artist reception for their new exhibits at LCQM – "Visions in Fiber", featuring the work of Shiela Groman, and "Birdscapes, featuring the work of Karin Franzen – took place April 3rd and 4th. Unfortunately I could not make it but I'll hop the ferry and get over there soon.