Thursday, November 17, 2011

War of 1812 Quilt Challenge Timeline

War of 1812 Quilt Challenge Competition Timing:
·         Now through February 19, 2012 – Fill out the Official Registration Form (click here for link to registration form)
·         February 20 to March 2, 2012 – Deliver or mail your quilt(s) to Seaway Trail Discovery Center
·          March 17-18, 2012 – Attend the 12th Annual Great Lakes Seaway Trail Bicentennial War of 1812 Quilt Show

One of the 30" by 70" cot to coffin size quilts was photographed on the door of the Discovery Center this autumn. 

Official Registration Form Available Online!

The Great Lakes Seaway Trail 2012 Quilt Show, scheduled for March 17 and 18, 2012, promises to be our best show yet – a real quilting event! Interpreters dressed in historically-correct 1800’s period fashions will welcome you to commemorate the Bicentennial of the War of 1812.

To enter the 1812 Quilt Challenge fill in the online Quilt Registration Form (click here for link to registration form.)

The historic 1817 Union Hotel building is the location of the Seaway Trail Discovery Center, Sackets Harbor, NY.  Quilts will be on display here for the 12th Annual Quilt Show.

Due to the number of quilt entries this year we’re expanding our show venue to include the Seaway Trail Discovery Center – built in 1817 - plus two additional historic buildings on West Main Street in Sackets Harbor, NY.

The 1808 Samuel Hooker house is now the galleries of the Sackets Harbor Arts Center and will display our quilts during the show. Watercolor by Anitol Mickle.

The Augustus Sacket Mansion was built by the founder of the village in 1802. Today it houses the Sackets Harbor Visitors' Center and during the show our quilts will be on display here.

The three sites will feature your quilts, vendors and demonstrators both days. Admission can be purchased at all sites and will include admission to all three buildings.  All buildings are accessible and parking is free.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Our Guest Blogger Mary Knapp on the Eight-pointed Star Pattern

The iconic eight-pointed star quilt block is undoubtedly the most widespread pattern (other than simple nine-patches) seen in early American quilt making.  Eight-pointed star quilts started appearing around 1780 and after 1830 countless variations of star patterns were being made.  Indeed the graphic of an eight-pointed star is nearly synonymous with American folk-art.  

Our guest blogger today is a professional quilter and author who is known for her innovative drafting techniques and creative use of the eight-pointed star - Mary Knapp.

Many of the block patterns used to create quilts today, were first developed many decades ago using very simple tools but accurate techniques.  Consider this design process evolving in the early 1800’s, just prior to the War of 1812.

I have chosen the eight-pointed star pattern to explore and develop this concept into easily designed blocks.  The tools I used are ones that were available to designers in the 1800’s.  I used a straight-edge, a pencil and my imagination.  My designs are all based on one commonality: the 45° diamond patch that is repeated and grows into symmetrical designs.

One to several of these blocks would serve as a focal point on a background of whole cloth or simple pieced blocks.  The resulting patterns were pieced with combinations of plain color and print fabric.

The designers in earlier times named their blocks with the same serendipity that many of us use today.  What they observed in nature and everyday life played a role in the creative process.  It is possible that a piece of china or the design made by cracks in the mud evolved into a descriptive term for a quilt block.  Birds, trees, and flowers figure prominently in the names of many blocks.  Other sources could have come from a basket carried by a friend or viewing a formation of marching soldiers.

Then as now, let your imagination should be your guide to produce a piece of work that will be cherished for decades.

Check out more of Mary's quilts at:

Monday, November 7, 2011

Great Examples of Early 1800's Quilts

Although quilting in one form or another has existed throughout history (knights during the crusades wore quilted layers under their armor,) quilts as we think of them didn't appear on the American scene until the late 18th century and the oldest quilts in the Smithsonian only date back to around 1780.

Quilting was generally done in straight lines, although flowers, baskets, feathers and wreathes were not uncommon.

We continue to research documented quilts from the 1812 era and present the following early quilts from the incredible online quilt reference "The Quilt Index" 

Early 1800's quilts were often “whole-cloth” quilts (quilts made of whole panels of fabric, such as the fashionable toile prints.) 


Trapunto (stuffed work) and white-work quilts were made.  


Bar and stripy quilts were popular too.  

Medallion quilts and Broderie Perse (or Persian Embroidery) were very fashionable in the early 1800's (you could even purchase fabric specifically designed to be cut out and appliqu├ęd onto your quilt.) 


Or how about this example - sort of a hybrid of a wholecloth and a medalion style!

Click on the links under each quilt photo to read all the details

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It’s hunting season! Antique hunting scene toile quilt circa 1815

This beautiful wholecloth toile quilt dates to circa 1815.  The quilt features a wonderful madder purple copper plate printed rare French hunting scene toile. The color of the printing is a wonderful eggplant purple.  The backing is a traditional blue stripe ticking fabric. The front is made from two panels of the toile and the back is made from various panels of the ticking. 

Most reproduction fabric collections have a toile or two in their line – what a relatively easy way to make your 1812 quilt! 

This quilt has survived in amazingly wonderful condition considering it's age and is currently for sale on E-bay.