Julie Boatner of Keizer, Oregon e-mailed us on Feb 23, 2014 saying:
“I saw from your website that you had done some research for the pattern for the airplane quilt. I have looked everywhere for the pattern without any luck. Any ideas as to where to get a copy of the pattern for the quilt block? I know that it was originally in the magazine Successful Farming in 1929.”
I was on a ski vacation when the e-mail arrived but briefly replied that, if she joined the museum, I could mail her the same 2 books I had loaned to Nancy Skala 1 year ago. Nancy had also asked for the pattern for the Lucky Lindy’s Plane block. She wrote a lovely guest blog entry on Feb 26, 2013 telling everyone how helpful our library volunteers were. On March 8, 2013, Laura Lane, our collections manager, saw Nancy’s blog entry and added an entry telling that the museum has an airplane quilt with the same pattern in our collection. Nancy made 2 small airplane quilts and showed them at the Maine State Quilt Show in July. On November 6, 2013 she sent us a photo of her quilts and again thanked us for our help.
Just 5 days later, Julie had joined our museum through our website and I mailed these 2 books to her.
Marino, Ragi. Flying high : the airplane in quilts.-- 1st ed.-- Waupaca, WI : Stardust Publications, 1994. 67p. : ill. col. : pb. ISBN 0-929950-18-6 : $19.95
This book tells the history of many airplane quilt patterns and led me to
Better Homes and Gardens. America's heritage quilts.-- 1st. ed.-- Des Moines, IA : Meredith Corp, 1991. 320p. : ill. col. ISBN 0-696-01905-1
This book has a photo of the quilt and complete instructions for making it.
What’s really funny is that the library book I took with me to read in the evening after skiing is "One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson published last fall. It tells all about Lindbergh’s life and historic flight.
~Martha Supnik, Library Volunteer Coordinator
She sent us this photo of the old quilt and a donation to thank us for our help. She said, “How I wish I had thought to contact your museum a year ago. I've been working on this for over a year, finding fabrics, making & remaking templates, trying to make all fit together correctly.”
I encouraged her to join the museum which she did. Since she’s 60+ and lives outside New England, her membership is only $25 per year. I picked two books from our library that showed how to draft and piece a Lemoyne Star and how to do string piecing and mailed them to her. Penny said if she lived nearby, she’d be our most loyal volunteer and she’ll share the information about our resources with her quilting friends in Ohio.
We look forward to hearing about Penny’s future projects and getting more members from across the country who want to make use of the terrific resources in our library. We think it’s the biggest, most accessible collection of quilting books, magazines, videos and patterns in the country!
I’ve just ordered a book on Amazon titled The Quilters Hall of Fame: 42 Masters Who Have Shaped Our Art (published in 2011). I had brought home a duplicate copy from the New England Quilt Museum Library; but when I started reading it, I had to have my own copy. First of all, it got me thinking that my next project should be to get Sally Palmer Field into the Hall of Fame, located in Marion, Indiana, and, secondly, because so many of the people already inducted into the Quilters Hall of Fame share Sally’s attributes. She knew many of them and they’re in our Sally book!
Briefly, but starting at the front of the book, Hazel Carter was the founder of the Hall of Fame in 1979, while she was running the second quilting convention known as the Continental Quilting Congress. Hazel thought that quilters at the convention “were ignoring our quilting heritage.” Sally did too. Sally and some others from New England attended one or more of the Continental Quilting Congresses in Virginia and invited Hazel Carter to join Lewis Karabatsos and Carter Houck as judges for the first Images Quilt Show in 1983. This show was a fundraiser staged by the New England Quilt Guild for creating the New England Quilt Museum.
Merikay Waldvogel wrote the introduction to the Hall of Fame book and also was inducted in 2009. She explains that the honorees “devoted their lives to the preservation of quiltmaking, quilts, and their history.” Sure sounds like Sally to me. Merikay further describes the inductees as “passionate about quilts, skilled, assertive, and resilient. They are not afraid to reinvent themselves.” This description fits Sally to a T! (A quilt historian, Merikay is in my book because she helped me find information about the Sterns and Foster quilt block in a national contest that Sally entered in 1974.)
Next is Lenice Bacon, a lecturer on quilts, who spoke to historical societies and sewing groups. She collected quilts to use in her talks, she dressed in costume, and she drew on her training in speech and drama. Sally did all this too. Some of Mrs. Bacon’s quilts were exhibited by her family (after her death) at the first Images show, where Sally was very active.
Sally first met Shiela Betterton at the American Museum in Britain near Bath, where Shiela (no typo there) was the museum’s textile and needlework specialist. She’d come from the Northumberland area and Sally wished she could see Shiela’s collection of antique quilts. She felt that area was the most creative, using more than simple blocks. Sally was proud to have sample blocks she’d donated on exhibit in the museum in Bath where she visited often.
Jinny Beyer is another featured in the Hall of Fame book and in the Sally book. Sally greatly admired her quilting skill and took the first class that Jinny offered in Hilton Head in 1981.
Jeffrey Gutcheon (who died very recently) co-authored a book on quilt design with his wife Beth. They ran Gutcheon Patchwork on Broadway that Sally and her sisters visited and later where thirty New England Quilt Guild members attended an all-day “Diamond Patchwork Workshop” in 1980. He later came to Boxborough to speak at a NEQG conference.
Sally knew Carrie Hall and Rose Kretsinger as co-authors of The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt in America, published in 1935. This was one of the early books on quilt history.
Jonathan Holstein and Gail van der Hoof were the artists who “sparked renewed interest in quilts as an art form through their 1971” at the Whiney Museum in New York City. About that time Sally and her sisters started sharing weekends together in NYC, which makes me wonder if they went to that Whitney show. Sally was not directly involved with the show, but she considered her quilts “Art” and did not use them on beds.
Carter Houck published American Quilts and How to Make Them in 1975. Because she was invited to judge the IMAGES show in 1983, it’s reasonable to assume Sally knew both the book and the author.
Another author, Marguerite Ickis wrote “the quilter’s bible” titled The Standard Book of Quilt Making and Collecting in 1949. Sally met Marguerite at an early NEQG meeting in South Yarmouth in 1977, before her Quilters Hall of Fame induction in 1979. Sally and some other NEQG members visited Marguerite and shared quilting stories with her. She told about how a neighbor had great stories (gossip?) to tell but did terrible stitching. Still, Marguerite’s mother and grandmother invited her to sew with them and then tore out her work the next day.
I think I’m going on too long. Just two more: Michael James and Bonnie Leman. Both were at a Continental Quilting Congress meeting that Sally attended. Michael took an art degree from UMass Dartmouth and contributed to the art quilt movement; he spoke at the New England Quilt Guild meeting in 1978. Bonnie was the long-time editor of the Quilter’s Newsletter to which Sally subscribed to as a charter member since 1969. Bonnie published Sally’s award-winning Minuteman 1775 quilt.
I’ve got to finish reading all the fascinating stories in this book and then ask some key quilters for guidance in submitting Sally’s name. I’m sure she belongs in the Hall of Fame. Any readers have insight into the process?
~ Judy Buswick, author of Sally Palmer Field: New England Quilter