Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Union Jack Flag is Coming Across the Border

The Union Jack flag is coming across the border to be hung proudly in Sackets Harbor as a reminder of the battles of the War of 1812.
Sheila Cornett, a member of the Limestone Quilters’ Guild, is driving over with the quilts.

This historic British Union Jack flag won’t be at the head of a marching army, but it will be part of a display of Canadian quilts that will be part of the commemorative Quilt Show to mark the bicentennial of the conflict and the ensuing 200 years of peace between the United States, Canada and Great Britain.  

Friday, February 17, 2012

Three Historic Buildings for Quilt Show Venue this Year!

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.  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 all on West Main Street in Sackets Harbor, NY. 

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.

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 1812 style 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. 


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Documented Hewson Printed Fabric Used in a Center Medallion Quilt

During the Revolutionary War period, John Hewson, an English textile printer, challenged the authority of the British Empire over colonial America through the simple act of printing on fabric. In defiance of the British ban on the importation of printing equipment and technology, Hewson, highly trained in textile work, crossed the ocean with his family, his own proficiency in the textile printing trades, and smuggled contraband printing equipment.   

Hewson is best known for block-printed squares featuring an elaborate vase overflowing with flowers and sheaves of wheat and surrounded by motifs of butterflies and birds. These squares were used as the center medallions of quilts—as seen in this example—pieced together from a variety of eighteenth-century block-printed linens and cottons, some or all of which may have been printed in Hewson’s shop as well.   It has a typical early quilt construction of a center medallion surrounded by multiple borders or frames. The highly complex appearance is deceiving, as the left side of the quilt is a virtual mirror image of the right.

From the collection of the American Folk Art Museum:   Hewson Printed Center Medallion Quilt.  Quilt maker unidentified; center block printed by John Hewson in the United States between 1790–1810.  Cotton and possibly linen; 85 1⁄2 × 76"

Jane Austen was a Quilter.

Novelist Jane Austen was a quilter.  Jane, her sister Cassandra and their mother used 64 different fabrics to make a quilt that still exists today as part of the Jane Austen House Museum collection at Chawton Cottage in Hampshire, England.  In May 1811, Jane asked her sister Cassandra, “have you remembered to collect pieces for the Patchwork? — we are now at a standstill.”

The medallion pattern quilt that Jane made is on display at Chawton Cottage and features a total of 64 different patterns of chintz fabric cut into several hundred diamond shaped, fussy-cut patches framing a central medallion –  a motif cut out of a larger piece of floral chintz in a wicker basket.  

I wonder where each of the 64 different chintz prints came from.  From friends, family or perhaps the leftover fabrics from Jane and Cassandra’s own gowns?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Planning to visit Sackets Harbor for the 1812 Quilt Challenge?

Planning to visit Sackets Harbor for the 1812 Quilt Challenge?  You may find the map below useful.  The buildings that will have quilts exhibited in them are indicated on the map as Building # 1 Visitor Center Sackett Mansion, Building #2 Seaway Trail Discovery Center Union Hotel and Building B - Art Center.  You may purchase your admission ticket and start at any of the locations on Saturday March 17 and Sunday March 18.  The parking is plentiful and free and historic re-enactors from Forsyths Rifles of St. Lawrence County will be on hand to patrol the streets.

A Preview of Some of the Quilts Entered in the 1812 Quilt Challenge

DeAnne from Lawrence, Kansas has titled her quilt: To Those Who Fought.  She writes to tell us of her inspiration: "When visiting museums I have always been moved when I saw a piece that had a dedication on it.  I decided to make a dedication quilt to those who fought in the War of 1812.  In the dedication I included the names and ranks of my two 3rd great grandfathers and my two 3rd great uncles who fought in the War of 1812.   Around my dedication I put Broderie Perse.   Above and below the Broderie Perse I put applique.  I surrounded the quilt with a patchwork border.  Since this was a quilt intended for men I chose a patchwork that was masculine.  I created the Broderie Perse using Barbara Brackman’s Lately Arrived from London Seaflower Muslin.  I chose an applique design that I had seen on several quilts in the Victoria & Albert Museum from that time period.  All of the fabric that I used for the applique and the border was from Barbara Brackman’s Lately Arrived from London line for Moda fabrics." 

Betty Anne of Markham Ontario is completing this quilt titled 1812 Rememberance and she tells us of her inspiration:  "This started out as a historical challenge for the members of the Markham Towne Quilters Guild. Mary Mullen was in charge of presenting us with blocks that would represent the 1812 period in time. We were also challenged to find fabric that would have been available during this time period. The fact that black was not a possible dye colour ruled out a lot of the civil war fabrics available. I travelled from quilt store to quilt store to find fabrics that meet the requirement of 2-3 colour dots on the fabric selvedge, but that was very limiting but also very interesting to research colours that were prevalent during 1812.I found a cream & brown toile fabric that would let me try my hand at some Broderie Perse of 2 birds (male & female), also flowers, leaves and a butterfly for the centre. Pinwheels of browns, reds and blues surround the centre. I used a few of the blocks presented by Mary Mullen of MTQG and put my own spin on the design by using pinwheels, stars and connecting blocks. I've also used a fabric that I would call a cheddar colour which would have been popular during this time. I decided to frame the quilt in red around the border and binding."

Let us know how your quilt is coming along and please send some photos even if it is still under construction!  We would love to see what you've been doing.