Wednesday, August 20, 2014

"Quilt! Knit! Stitch!"

"Plain and Fancy" by Kristin Shields
"Quilt! Knit! Stitch!" took place last week at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. What a treat it was to have such a great show in town. The show is part of the repertoire of Quilts, Inc., which annually runs the big show in Houston and a few other shows around the country. Last year, Quilts, Inc., came to Portland after ending its run in Long Beach, and all of us in Portland hope the show keeps coming back here.

The show included vendors and several special exhibits. I went especially to see the MQX Showcase because Janet-Lee Santeusanio was giving a walking tour of the exhibit each day. It was stellar group of quilts showing the possibilities of machine quilting today.

"A Truly Feathered Star" by Karen Sievert
"Gentle Journey" by Vicki Ibison
"Marie's Poppies" by Carolyn Rider
"Tuscan Sun" by Gina Perkes
"Just Call Me Modern" by Judi Madsen
"Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" by Janet-Lee Santeusanio
There were several other exhibits, such as the Robert Kaufman Modern Metallics and Modern Glitz Challenges, as well as a group of several past winners from the Houston show.

"Golden Geese" by Kristin Shields
"Organic" by Jade Prosser
"Metallic Bonding" by AnnMarie Cowley 
It was a treat to see so many quilts from fellow members of Portland Modern Quilt Guild in the Modern Glitz Challenge. Those were some interesting fabrics, offering a good challenge. Kudos, guildmates!! Here are a few...

"Criss Cross Xs" by MaryAnn Morsette
"Glitzy Dots" by Cath Hall 
"Superfly Mini" by Michelle Freedman
"Half Life" by Anne Whiting
"Deco Glitz" by Kelly Cole
The rest of the show was also wonderful, and included some of the quilts from last year's Houston show. It was great to see them in person after admiring photos online.

"Quilt Noir" by Shirley Gisi 
"Illinois Album" by Jane Sassaman - one of my favorites!
"Illinois Album" (detail) by Jane Sassaman
"Brown Planet a Collaboration" by Norma Schlager and Kathy Loomis
"Gorsuch Family Quilt c. 1840 Revisited" by Margo Hardie
It was fun to see so many familiar quilts in person, and also many familiar names and faces. I didn't spend as much time looking at the quilts as I should have, but it was a busy week. The introduction for my book is almost done, and various other projects are in the works. It was nice to take a break, with a 15-minute drive leading to such a wonderful display of quilts!

Volckening Collection - Facebook Cover Photos

Check it out! I have been updating the Volckening Collection Facebook page with cover photos of quilts from my collection. One of the quilts in the screen shot (above) is now part of the collection of the DAR Museum in Washington, DC. All the others are still part of the collection. There are albums with groups of quilts, and the cover photos are partly quilts from those albums but mostly other quilts in the collection. A very diverse, exuberant group, if I do say so myself!

Go to the page and click the "Like" button! To visit the Volckening Collection Facebook page, click here.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Rules? What rules?

quirky vintage quilt from eBay, dimensions: 68" x 86"

This fun 1970s quilt came from an eBay seller in Texas, and I love how it breaks the rules. It appears to have started as a star quilt, with 20 blocks of eight-pointed stars constructed of diamond shaped patches, as well as solid color green sashing and yellow cornerstones.

Some of the seams have come apart. Should be a fairly easy fix. Most of the quilt is in very good condition. An array of fabrics was used, and some held up better than others. The quilt is mostly cotton, but also includes polyester double knit, mostly in the bow tie blocks.

The quilt was completed with bow tie blocks on the bottom and right side. The borders are also quirky. On three sides there is patchwork fabric in red, blue, yellow and white. On the left side, the border is made of the green sashing and yellow cornerstones.

The quilt is approximately 68" x 86" and is hand quilted with fans, sometimes called Baptist fans or elbow quilting. The curved lines of the quilting work nicely with the geometric piecework. It's one of those quilts that makes you wonder what the maker was thinking. An oddball, for sure, but that's what I like about it. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

another eBay bargain quilt with an idea

This 1970s or 1980s snake trails quilt may not be everyone's cup of tea. The forest green seems to work against the orange and white striped fabric, and there's something odd about the color combination. It's very Miami Hurricanes, or something.

But there's an interesting idea in this eBay bargain quilt. It is the use of striped fabric. A lot of people today are using stripes in interesting ways, so this quilt is kind of a quirky predecessor.

Purposeful use of striped fabric...interesting! Ahead of the curve. There's potential to do something much more with this idea. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

four family quilts, Hillsboro, Oregon

Last week, I found two doll quilts at a local antiques shop in Hillsboro, Oregon. Yesterday, I went back to see if the shop owner had retrieved information about the maker, and while I was there he offered two more of her quilts. It was a deal I just couldn't pass up.

The first is a larger quilt, a 68" x 78" one-patch made in the 60s or 70s, mostly cottons with a few knit fabrics that appear to be wools. It is thin, hand quilted, and has a narrow white binding. The second is another doll quilt, also multicolor patchwork, with alternating one-patch and four-patch blocks.

a third doll quilt for the group
These two quilts and the two doll quilts I bought last week were all made by the same person, a Hillsboro resident whose name we think is Ruth Daggard, although the spelling of the name has yet to be verified. She lived in the Bald Peak area of town. She may have passed away several years ago. The quilts came from the estate of her son, who passed away within the last year or two.

doll quilt found last week
second doll quilt found last week
All four quilts seem to have a similar color sensibility, with multiple colors used harmoniously in simple patterns. Two are tied, two are quilted. I look forward to finding out more about the maker. It is wonderful to find a small group of quilts from one maker who lived in the area. I hope I can find out more about her. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

my favorite things

part of my Homer Laughlin Harlequinware collection
After a week of sharing tacky, tasteless tchotchkes on Instagram, Facebook and here on my blog, I was asked what types of collectibles I found more tasteful. Here are a few of the things you'll find around my house.

more Homer Laughlin Harlquinware, a lighter weight version of Fiesta
My collection of Harlequinware started some time in the mid-1980s, when I received a picnic set from my paternal grandparents' summer home in East Hampton.

I was the only one Aunt Elsie liked, apparently...she left me this silver piece
miniature willow ware tea set and white ironstone
I have a little thing for white ironstone, and willow ware, just the right amount of it, not too much.

majolica gurgling fish jugs
I also have a thing for majolica, although it is something we do not see everyday in the young city of Portland. The luminous colors are a natural in my kitchen.

majolica relish dish
At one time I had a large collection of fish objects, over 100 items all over the house. After a while, the collection had gone way overboard. A little of this, a little of that seemed to work better.

collection of Mexican pottery from my grandmother
Although I did not really collect my grandmother "Oma's" little collection of Mexican pottery, it reminds me of her. Also something to crow about is Ken Pincus pottery here, there and everywhere.

handmade pottery bowl by Portland artist Ken Pincus
pottery, wood, copper, a winning combination in my opinion
Earthy objects, copper, wood, organic handmade pottery, and small paintings are things I like.

Maine ocean scene, oil on canvas by Gustave Cimiotti (1875-1969)
oil on board by unknown artist, found in Maine
In my home, cultural objects are part of the mix. Northwest Coast Native American art is a personal favorite. Living in the region, it's nice to recognize the native culture.

carved cedar panel by Ken Humpherville, Tsimshian, Metis, Cree Nation
"Sea Bear Spirit" bentwood cedar chest by Andy Wilbur, Skokomish Nation
Of course, a house wouldn't be a home without Mom's needlepoint work. She has made many beautiful pillows for me, and I have a few of her needlepoint covered brick doorstops, too.

needlepoint pillow with quilt design, from Mom
a second needlepoint pillow with quilt design, from Mom
Those are some of my favorite things, not to mention quilts, of course. What kinds of tchotchkes do you enjoy? Tasteful? or Tacky?