Monday, March 31, 2014

Hoffman Challenge Quilt Exhibit in Clayton

Great Lakes Seaway Trail Presents the Hoffman Challenge Quilt Exhibit at the Thousand Islands Art Center Galleries in Clayton.

The Great Lakes Seaway Trail is sponsoring a presentation of 60 of the Hoffman Fabric Challenge Quilts on the first two weekends of April in Clayton. 

The exhibit will be on display Saturday and Sunday from 11am-3pm at the Thousand Islands Art Center, 314 John St, Clayton the weekends of April 5-6 and April 12-13.

The collection features quilted works of all styles and sizes in elegant peacock, aqua and gold colors and patterns.

The works of art from quilters all across the United States and Canada includes award winners.

Admission $5.00

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Textile Conservator at the 1812 Symposium in Oswego

Textile conservator Deborah Trupin is among the 12 speakers sharing their research on the War of 1812 April 4, 5 and 6 at the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center, 26 E. First St., Oswego, one of the major maritime history destinations on the Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway. The Oswego War of 1812 Symposium runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 5 and from 9 a.m. to noon on Sunday, April 6. 

Complete schedule:

A Father's Day Quilt!

What a unique idea for a Father's Day quilt - this quilt was created by Bette Haddon, an award-winning quilt artist who lives in beautiful DeFuniak Springs, Florida. She used whole ties along with tie tips, labels, and buttons, to create a highly textured surface (with over 200 buttons and labels).

Monday, December 23, 2013

Did Author Washington Irving Invent our Christmas Traditions in 1819?

The pilgrims, English separatists that came to America in 1620, were extremely orthodox in their Puritan beliefs. As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America. After the American Revolution, all English customs fell out of favor, including Christmas. In fact, Congress was in session on December 25, 1789, the first Christmas under America’s new constitution.  

It wasn’t until the 19th century that Americans began to embrace Christmas. Americans re-invented Christmas, and changed it from the raucous carnival holiday into a family-centered day of peace and nostalgia. But what happened in the 1800s that piqued American interest in the holiday?  

In 1819, best-selling author Washington Irving wrote "The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon" a series of stories about the celebration of Christmas in English.  In Irving’s mind, Christmas should be a peaceful, warm-hearted holiday bringing groups together across lines of wealth or social status.    

Irving’s book, however, was not based on any holiday celebration that he had ever attended!  In fact, many historians say that Irving’s account actually “invented” our Christmas traditions by implying that it described the true customs of the season.   

Regardless of the truth in his stories - the Sketch Book and it's stories of Christmas traditions cemented Irving’s reputation, and propelled him to a level of celebrity previously unseen for an American writer.


Happy Holidays! Fashions for December 1812

Ackermann's Repository was the Vogue magazine of the 1812 / Regency era.

Not only are the fashions lovely but the faces are so sweet and so beautifully drawn; making the Ackermann' fashion plates some of the best from this time period.

These plates were the fashions for December 1812!   Happy Holidays! 

Friday, October 11, 2013

A Rare Patchwork Banyan

Many 18th century men wore an at-home garment called a banyan, which was influenced by East Asian and Persian robes. 

 In the humid climate of the Southern Colonies, gentlemen wore lightweight banyans as informal street wear in summer. 

It was fashionable for men of an intellectual or philosophical bent to have their portraits painted while wearing banyans. 

Tailored to mimic Persian robes, the cut and construction of this patchwork banyan, particularly its button closure, is characteristically European. It is fully interlined for warmth.

Despite the similarity to a "bathrobe" or a "nightgown", the banyan was not worn for sleeping.

Canandaigua, NY Quilt Show to Feature War of 1812 Traveling Quilts Exhibit

The October 18-19 Fall in Love with Quilts 2013 event presented by the Heart in Hand Quilt Guild of the Finger Lakes at The Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 320 South Pearl Street, Canandaigua, NY, will include the Great Lakes Seaway Trail War of 1812 Traveling Quilts Exhibit.

The Great Lakes Seaway Trail War of 1812 Traveling Quilts Exhibit includes 26 newly-made cot-to-coffin-sized (70 inches long by 30 inches wide) works featuring 1812-authentic patterns, fabrics, colors, and symbols. The special exhibit joins 100-some quilts made by the Heart in Hand Quilt Guild membership.

Twenty of the quilts are American-made, representing 11 states, and six are Canadian-made quilts from three provinces. Story cards with each quilt in the traveling exhibit share the factual military or personal family history represented by the quilt or the imagined tale of a family sending a loved one off to the war.

The Great Lakes Seaway Trail War of 1812 heritage theme for traveling the 518-mile freshwater byway inspired quilters on both sides of the international border to interpret the War’s Bicentennial in many interesting and personal ways in their quilts. New Great Lakes Seaway Trail ‘Storyteller’ interpretive panels with information on ‘America’s second war for independence’ are also part of the traveling exhibit.

The exhibit has appeared at historic sites in the U.S. and Canada, and has been featured at several large venue quilts shows, including the Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival in Colorado and the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza in Philadelphia. The quilts exhibit will be traveling to shows, museums and historic venues in the U.S. and Canada into 2015. For details, visit

Much of the War of 1812 was fought along the route now known as the Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway that parallels the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Niagara River and Lake Erie in New York and Pennsylvania.

The Fall in Love with Quilts 2013 show hours are Friday, October 18, 4-9pm, and Saturday, October 19, 9am-4pm. The show includes juried vendors and a lunch concession by The Good Shepherd Church. Quilt Consortium of New York State Passport holders and anyone bringing a canned food item for the local food pantry will receive 50 cents off the $4/adult, $2/student-under-16 admission show admission fee.