<![CDATA[ - Blog]]>Sat, 17 Mar 2018 11:32:45 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[A New Reference Book Worth Perusing]]>Thu, 14 Dec 2017 18:15:48 GMThttp://nequiltmuseum.org/blog/a-new-reference-book-worth-perusingPicture
​The Museum Library has recently acquired Susan W. Greene’s Wearable Prints, 1760-1860.  The book, which contains around 1600 full-color images, describes not only the decorative aspect of fabric, but also the technological processes that resulted in the lovely fabrics we often see in antique quilts. The Library volunteers feel it will be of interest not only to quilters but also to historians, students, costumers, designers, curators, and collectors. Please come to the library to examine and enjoy this new acquisition. 

About the Author:
Susan W. Greene is a collector, museum consultant, and independent scholar. Her collection of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century clothing now resides at the Genesee Country Village and Museum in Mumford, New York. She is the author of Textiles for Early Victorian Clothing and several entries in Valerie Steele's Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion and Carol Kammen's Encyclopedia of Local History.

<![CDATA[A Full-Service Library!]]>Thu, 14 Dec 2017 18:12:53 GMThttp://nequiltmuseum.org/blog/a-full-service-libraryWhile volunteering in the museum’s library, I received a call from Margaret H., a member of the Calico Quilters in Yarmouth, Maine.  Her guild, one of the member guilds of the Pine Tree Quilters Guild of Maine, is creating the raffle quilt for the 2019 Maine Quilts show.  She was calling to ask for ideas for the raffle quilt; she was looking for a quilt pattern that created a secondary design, that could be scrappy, that was traditional not modern, and that was pieced but had room for some applique- a tall order!  I told Margaret that I would do some research and get back to her later that day. 

My volunteer partner, Barbara, and I did some research, looking for suitable patterns and designs.  I also looked in the library’s yard sale area and found several books of traditional designs that might, with some modifications, serve the purpose.  I called Margaret to tell her about the books, and that I could pull the same books from the permanent collection for her to look at, as she had indicated that she and another guild member might be visiting the museum soon.  I also said I could hold the yard sale books for her, if she wanted to buy those copies.  However, Margaret said that they could not come just then, that she wanted the books ASAP so they could start their planning of the raffle quilt, and asked if I could just send her the yard sale books and she would send a check to cover the cost of the books and the postage.  I told her I could certainly do that and would take the books home that evening to get them ready to mail out.

As I looked through the books that evening, I found many quilt patterns and designs that seemed to fit Margaret’s specifications.  I happily marked up the books with sticky notes with my ideas and wrote a long note detailing what I had found and got them ready to mail the next day.  The next week, we received the following email from Margaret:

Good Evening, Dottie,

I'm sorry I haven't sent my "Thank You" until now, but on the other hand it worked out better as yesterday I discovered the letter you enclosed with the books, therefore I can email you which is easier than posting a written note.
The box of books arrived on Tuesday [October 10th], and it was like Manna Sent from Heaven!  The books are wonderful and your notes are priceless!  What a wonderful experience this is turning out to be for me and all of our 7-member committee.  My favorite book is the "Scrap Quilts Fast and Fun" with the Japanese Lanterns (log cabin blocks) on the cover.  The colors are so bold and bright and the pattern so deceiving being a log cabin block.
Reading your letter yesterday actually gave me time to verify with our chapter treasurer that she has received the application to become a supporting member to the NE Quilt Museum, and she will be sending the check shortly.  Our chapter had actually voted on October 2 to become a member, so it is happening.  I also would like to ask you that if an additional donation is made directly to the library, is it tax deductible?
Our next committee meeting is October 16th, and I am so excited about sharing these books and your comments to the other members.  I will keep you posted as our decisions continue to be made regarding the quilt. One additional criteria that we as a group made is that all members of our chapter who make blocks will have their blocks included in the quilt - somehow we will make it work - no exclusions.

Again, many thanks for your research and book picks for me.
Best Regards,

I can’t wait to see what Margaret and her group come up with for the raffle quilt; it will be exciting, knowing that my efforts may have given them some ideas and inspiration!  This story illustrates the kind of services that we in the library can provide to individuals and organizations.  We have many, many books that can be perused to help with your quilt history research or quilt design process if you visit in person but if, like Margaret, you need help before you can visit or if the distance is too great, we can still help.  For many of the titles in our research library, we also have at least one circulating copy; if you are a member of the museum, we can ship such titles to you anywhere in the United States.  You can keep the books for a month and ship them back to us Library Rate, just including a donation to cover our postage to you.  Or in Margaret’s case, she did not want to wait until they could come down and look at books in the library and just wanted me to mail the books from the yard sale to her; she got nine books for less than $20!  Of course, as with any yard sale, you never know what you will find.  The yard sale is replenished whenever we receive donated books that are already in the library’s permanent collection; the excess books are placed in the yard sale at prices that are significantly reduced from the original retail price and help fund the library’s operations.
Unlike many libraries, we do not charge for our research services, although we will accept donations for our services.  And yes, those donations to the library are tax-deductible! 
So, whether you visit in person, or call or email us with your quilty questions, the volunteers in the library are here to help.  And if you visit, you can help yourself to the chocolate in our ever-present candy dish.  Now that’s what I call a full-service library!
-written by Dottie Macomber, library volunteer]]>
<![CDATA[#1yearofstitches2017]]>Sun, 24 Sep 2017 23:37:05 GMThttp://nequiltmuseum.org/blog/1yearofstitches2017In honor of our current exhibit, “Gilding the Lily: Embroidery in quilts, past and present” we have this contribution from Donna Hopkins, a volunteer in the New England Quilt Museum Library:

It all began with a blank embroidery hoop and an online challenge to stitch every day for a year.  Last December I stumbled upon a blog post by Sara Barnes (www.brwnpaperbag.com/1-year-of-stitches-2017) about the project.  The idea of stitching every day and documenting on social media began in 2016 with Hannah Claire Somerville’s 365-day project (http://hannahclairesomerville.com/news.html and @1yearofstitches).  I was immediately hooked.
Before becoming a quilter, I always had a cross stitch or embroidery project in process.  After beginning quilting, embroidery, in the form of crazy quilting and red work, were incorporated in my quilts. But embroidery is time consuming and I hadn’t tackled anything major in several years.  The challenge seemed like a great kick starter.
Of course I had all the supplies (and then some) so I was ready to go.  Well, almost.  Part of the challenge is documenting your daily progress.  Sara created a Facebook group for weekly posts but participants needed their own social media accounts for daily posts.  So I quickly learned about Instagram and set up @makeronamaineisland.  (Use Google to search for this site)

A blank piece of fabric in a hoop was daunting until divided up into smaller sections.  The shapes were marked with Sue Pelland Designs’ Leaves Galore template.  My only “rule” was to use floss (no purl cotton or specialty threads) from my odds and ends bag of floss.  Stitch by stitch, the hoop is filling up.
Some weeks I’ve had a theme.  It might be color, stitch type (who knew there are as many as 55 variations of the chain stitch?), or inspiration from a book.  Others in the challenge use their stitches as a diary, stitching very personal images, words, and ideas.  It has been amazing to see what people around the world have created.  
Less than 100 days to go!  I haven’t missed a day of stitching or posting yet. It has been a wonderful experience.  Check out everyone’s progress by using Google to search for #1yearofstitches or #1yearofstitches2017.  You will be inspired!
Donna Hopkins, library volunteer

<![CDATA[Hurricane Harvey and the Four-legged Fur-babies]]>Sun, 03 Sep 2017 22:58:18 GMThttp://nequiltmuseum.org/blog/hurricane-harvey-and-the-four-legged-fur-babiesIn August, Hurricane Harvey hit Texas with record rainfall resulting in catastrophic losses.  Thousands of people have been displaced.  As always, whenever there is disaster or tragedy, quilters do what we do best- we quilt!

People are not the only ones displaced by this devastating storm.  Animals, both beloved pets and unfortunate strays, have also felt the fury of Harvey.  To answer the needs of hundreds of rescued animals, area shelters beyond the immediate impact zone have opened their facilities to accept these animals in need, and there is a unique organization that is helping these shelters.  The following is a statement from The Quilt Pattern Magazine’s website:

TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team was formed after Hurricane Sandy to help animal shelters affected by disasters. Started by TQPM (The Quilt Pattern Magazine - an international, digital-only publication), it is partnered with the Petfinder Foundation.
The TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team is a volunteer organization available whenever disasters strike - a way to join a larger effort helping our animal friends in times of need by doing what we love. There are over 500 members.
When disasters strike, TQPM checks with the Petfinder Foundation to see if there are shelters in need of assistance. Whenever Petfinder receives a request, the shelter's information is immediately sent to TQPM, which responds with a call requesting the correct mailing information - a necessity in case shelters have been severely damaged, and alternate housing has been set up. TQPM then sends an email to the TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team with the shelter's information and posts the request to their Facebook page.
The TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team springs into action making Kennel Quilts and sending them to the shelter along with a form explaining the Kennel Quilt program and naming the partners. Members also send TQPM a picture and the number of Kennel Quilts made, which is then posted on both the website and the Facebook page. To date over 5,500 Kennel Quilts have been sent to shelters all over the US.”

I am a member of the Small Kennel Quilt Team.  Periodically I receive emails from the TQPM to let me know of shelters that are requesting kennel quilts.  The requests can be due to natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey or because a shelter has rescued animals from extreme hoarding situations or puppy mills.  Whatever the cause for a sudden influx of animals, the shelters need small quilts measuring 12” x 18”, the size that fits into the most common small kennels and pet carriers.  These quilts are quick and easy to make; they can’t have binding, embellishments or anything that can be chewed off or caught on animals’ claws or toenails.  They can be in any design as long as the fabric is 100% cotton (but not flannel, which is not tightly woven enough for this purpose).  They can be any prints or solids; I have even used 12” orphan blocks and added strips of fabric to two sides to bring them up to the required size. The quilts can be pieced or whole cloth.  Minimal quilting is needed, just enough to keep the layers from shifting.
The latest kennel quilts I made were of cute dog-and-cat print fabric that was donated to the Quilt Museum.  All six quilts in the photo were made from that print on the front, but you can see the variety of fabrics I used for the backing.  This is a great place to use those odd fat quarters received in a guild swap, the ones that don’t go with anything else in your stash.  For both the piecing and the quilting, I used some strange variegated thread that I purchased who-knows-when for who-knows-what-purpose; I don’t think the animals will mind! 
Many generous donors give items to the Museum: books, magazines and quilt patterns for the museum’s library; and fabric and other sewing and quilting items for the museum’s shop.  Some of the fabric is packaged and sold to museum visitors; some is donated to other nonprofit organizations; and some, like the dog-and-cat print, is used by me or other volunteers to make items for charitable causes.  I sent the quilts in the photo to the San Antonio Humane Society, just one of several Texas and Louisiana shelters that have requested kennel quilts. 
I see the purpose of these kennel quilts as twofold.  Of course, they provide a soft and comfortable surface for animals in the shelter’s kennels or crates, but I think they also serve to cheer up the shelter workers, people who often do so much good with so little. 
If you would like to help by making kennel quilts, check out The Quilt Pattern Magazine’s website http://www.quiltpatternmagazine.com/program/KennelQuilt/
After all, as Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Dottie Macomber, museum library volunteer