Monday, March 26, 2012

Traveling Quilt Exhibit Venues Include New England and Williamsburg

The Great Lakes Seaway Trail is so excited to announce that our exhibit “Great Lakes Seaway Trail War of 1812 Bicentennial Quilts” will be traveling to several venues in the US and Canada over the next two years.

"Like a regiment of soldiers standing at attention" – that is how Seaway Trail, Project Manager Lynette Lundy-Beck describes the new Great Lakes Seaway Trail War of 1812 Bicentennial and Quilt Traveling Exhibit of quilts and interpretive panels. Twenty-five of the finest newly-made examples of 1812-period quilts will be accompanied by four Great Lakes Seaway Trail "Storyteller" interpretive panels that will tell the stories of the war; fabric technology in 1812; the daily lives of militia, soldiers and sailors; and the impact of the conflict on the daily lives of those left at home.

Mancuso Show Management is the producer of some of the largest quilt festivals and antiques shows featuring quilt competitions and juried exhibitions in the United States.  Mancuso has placed the “Great Lakes Seaway Trail War of 1812 Bicentennial Quilts” exhibit on their schedule for the following venues:
  • Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza  - September 13 - 16, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Final selection of the twenty-five quilts selected be on the tour will be announced by the Great Lakes Seaway Trail in April.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Handquilted Underhill Tree of Life Whole-Cloth Quilt

The show’s second Viewer’s Choice winner the “Underhill Tree of Life Whole-Cloth Quilt” was made by Jill Meszaros of Cambridge Springs, PA, 25 miles south of Erie and the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Pennsylvania. The dark blue quilt is intricately quilted by hand with a dark blue thread. 

Meszaros says, “I chose to create a whole-cloth quilt to honor my family heritage and the history of quilting and our nation. My fourth great-grandfather, Major David Underhill traveled to Huron County, Ohio, in 1810. In 1812 he reacted to the news that the British and Indians were landing only to learn they were really soldiers in Hull’s army. As I quilted, my husband was away and I imagined what it would have been like in 1812 to wait for him to come home.”

Meszaros, a stay-at-home mother of six, fashioned her design after the Clarke Family Quilt in the book “Massachusetts Quilts” and used fruit, floral and foliate motifs inspired by “Quilts-Masterworks from the American Folk Art Museum.” The quilt’s batting is wool, typical of the 1812 time. She says, “The last stitch went in the I day I shipped the quilt to the show.”

Show manager Lynette Lundy-Beck notes, “This show inspired people to learn more about the War of 1812, its battles, the soldiers and their loved ones, and about the quilters’ own families. This show is indeed a storytelling event that interprets the travel themes for the Great Lakes Seaway Trail in many interesting and personal ways, and that is what makes this quilt show unique among quilt shows and tourism showcases.”

Markham Quilt Guilt Display at the 1812 Quilt Show

The ladies of the Markham Quilt Guild near Toronto Ontario had a great display of quilts at the Great Lakes Seaway Trail War of 1812 Quilt Show!

Some Lovely Quilts from the Kingston Ontario Guild at the 1812 Quilt Show

Some incredible quilts from the Kingston Ontario guild were on display at the Great Lakes Seaway Trail War of 1812 quilt show.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

1812 Quilt Show Winners Announced: Canada and Pennsylvania Earn Honors

A regiment of Canadian quilters and a Pennsylvania woman have won Viewer’s Choice honors from the Great Lakes Seaway Trail War of 1812 Bicentennial Quilt Show. The show featured 1812 period-correct and pictorial quilts from 18 U.S. states and from across Canada.

Show manager Lynette Lundy-Beck announced that the favorite quilt of voters at the show hosted by three historic sites in Sackets Harbor, a New York State 1812 Heritage Community, was made by nine of the living history interpreters at Upper Canada Village, Morrisburg, Ontario.

Janice Toonders, who demonstrates spinning and weaving at the Village, designed the quilt using an Irish chain pattern. Toonders, Martina Bols, Mary Casselman, Christine Christie, Dianne Helmer, Ivah Malkin, Marjorie Munroe, Judy Neville, and Sharon Shaver used felt, silk thread and cotton fabrics to fashion symbols from the 1812 time period for the colorful pictorial.

“British Major Sir Isaac Brock is front and center. Lieutenant General Sir George Prevost is aside as he navigates his horse home in shame for not advancing his troops at Plattsburgh. We have the First Nation’s Confederacy leader Tecumseh and Joseph Brant, the Mohawk Chief who was working with the British to create a nation in the west,” Toonders explains.

The Upper Canada Village quilters also included the sloop “Wolf” that fought in one of the Battles of Sackett’s Harbour. A bear, a moose, a First Nation’s symbol, a British sailor and Laura Secord who notified the British of a U.S. attack are also among the quilt’s storytelling images.

The show’s second Viewer’s Choice winner is the “Underhill Tree of Life Whole-Cloth Quilt” made by Jill C. Meszaros of Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania. The all-blue quilt is intricately quilted by hand with a dark blue thread.

Friday, March 16, 2012

1812 Bicentennial quilt show in Sackets Harbor

Quilt Show Project Manager and Historic Quilt Expert Lynette Lundy-Beck notes that the War of 1812 quilt show on March 17 and 18 will weave living history exhibits into a two-day showcase that has attracted quilters from 18 states and Canada.  The Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway War of 1812 Bicentennial Quilt Show is Saturday and Sunday at three locations in the village. It will feature an exhibit of 1812 “period-true” quilts especially made for the exhibit.

The former Union Hotel, a three-story limestone structure built in 1817-18 and now the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Discovery Center; the Sackett Mansion, built in 1801; and the Samuel F. Hooker House Arts Center, circa 1808, will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day with displays of “cot-to-coffin-sized” quilts.  Many of the quilts have been dedicated to ancestors who fought in the War of 1812.  

Show guidelines for quilt size, fabrics and embellishments were developed by Seaway Trail Inc. in concert with American quilt historian Barbara Brackman of Lawrence, Kan. Patterns that were popular around 1812 featured simple stars and basic nine-patch and four-patch variations.

Quilters have been invited to attend in period dress. Living history re-enactor Ted Schofield of Chaumont will exhibit his early 19th-century reproduction sewing implements.  Other history interpreters lending atmosphere in the exhibit buildings and on village streets will include “President James Madison”; members of Forsyth’s Rifles with the Fort La Presentation Association of Ogdensburg; MacKay’s Militia from Genesee Country Village and Museum, Mumford, and members of the Sackets Harbor Battlefield Alliance.

The show is unique in that it is foremost a storytelling quilt exhibit.  The story of each quilt will be displayed with notations on how quilters selected patterns and colors and information about their research into family and local history.

The show also will feature quilting demonstrations and vendors. A special memorial exhibit of quilts will pay tribute to the late Seaway trail president and CEO Teresa Mitchell, who developed the concept for the trail and for quilting as a cultural heritage travel theme along the byway.

The nonprofit Seaway Trail hosts a yearly quilt show with a different theme as a cultural heritage travel opportunity along part of the 518 miles of the trail, which borders the Great Lakes shoreline in New York and Pennsylvania. The quilting tradition is a popular cultural and arts heritage travel theme for the trail, which has clusters of Mennonite and Amish quilters, particularly in the Chautauqua and St. Lawrence county regions of the byway.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

1812 Reenactor to Exhibit Period Sewing Implements March 17-18

Living history reenactor Ted Schofield of Chaumont, NY, makes his own War of 1812 and Civil War uniforms by hand using period reproduction sewing implements.   He says, “I do all hand work now to be more authentic in my interpretation of the 1812 period.”

On March 17 and 18 as part of the unique Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway War of 1812 Bicentennial Quilt Show event, Ted will display his collection of tools, iron needles; scissors; buttons; binding; threads; fabric swatches, including linsey-woolsey; and a rose blanket and homespun blanket common to the early 19th century time.

At the show, Ted will be dressed in period costume, selecting from his interpretations of a New York State militiaman, a US naval enlistee or an 1812 civilian. He will be joined by living history interpreters from the Fort La Presentation Association of Ogdensburg, NY; Genesee Country Village and Museum, Mumford, NY; the Sackets Harbor Battlefield Alliance and quilters in early 19th century American and English Regency period dress.

The “cot-to-coffin-sized” quilts coming from 18 U.S. states and Canada will be displayed in three 1812-period historic buildings in Sackets Harbor, NY.  The $5 admission benefits the Seaway Trail Foundation. The show is co-sponsored by Orleans County Tourism and the 22-mile Country Barn Quilt Trail loop off the Great Lakes Seaway Trail to barns painted with quilt block patterns.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sign up for the War of 1812 Symposium in Oswego March 31

Come to the American Foundry on state Route 104 West in Oswego for an intriguing series of lectures about the War of 1812 on the New York-Canadian Frontier. The day-long symposium runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 31.  Eight speakers will talk about a variety of War of 1812 topics, including naval and military logistics, society and fashion in the early 19th century, historic preservation, service organizations and the Native American perspective.

“Attack of Fort Oswego, on Lake Ontario, North America.” May 6, 1814.
Drawn by Captain Steele and engraved by R. Havell & Sons, c. 1814 (click the image for a large, detailed view.)  Capt. Steele was on board one of the British ships and an eyewitness to the attack.
Image is courtesy of the Collection of Paul Lear.

Noted historian Dr. Gary Gibson will return to the Oswego County War of 1812 Symposium to paint a colorful picture of life in Sackets Harbor in 1812. His presentation, “Society, Sex and Scandal: Sackets Harbor in the War of 1812,” offers a glimpse of this quaint little village beyond war maneuvers and ship-building.  “During the War of 1812, life in Sackets Harbor was not limited to building warships, housing soldiers or beating off British attacks,” said Dr. Gibson. “Society was enhanced by the presence of many military and naval officers. However, village life was also augmented by the merchants, tavern keepers and prostitutes who accommodated them. Local history is filled with fascinating stories about spies and espionage, court-martials and executions, labor disputes and duels, gala balls and sham marriages. All of these things contributed to a residential experience that was vastly different from what had been before and what would come after.”

Registration is $25 and includes lunch and workshop materials. Advance registration is required and may be paid by credit card through the Fort Ontario State Historic Site. Contact Jon Zella at 315-343-4711 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by e-mail at Checks should be made payable to Friends of Fort Ontario Inc. and mailed to Fort Ontario State Historic Site,
1 East Fourth Street, Oswego, N.Y. 13126

Upper Canada Village Quilt

This quilt which will be exhibited at the Seaway Trail Quilt Show is a group effort by the ladies who work as interpretors at Upper Canada Village.

It is a traditional Irish Chain pattern with embroidered and appliqued centers.

The images are taken from published prints that were available before or during the war, or are pictures a women might have drawn from stories heard about the war.

Quilting Heritage Speaker on Sunday March 18 at Quilt Show

The March 17-18, 2012 Great Lakes Seaway Trail War of 1812 Bicentennial Quilt Show has added quilting heritage speaker Shirley Robinson. The fifth generation quilter and teacher will speak at 12noon and 3pm on Sunday, March 18 on the third floor of the Seaway Trail Discovery Center, one of three early 19th-century venues for the show that features 1812 period-correct newly-made quilts.

Robinson, of Canastota, NY, will appear in costume to present her program entitled “Quilts of the Nations.” She will portray a woman born in the late 18th century as she traces the development of American quilting from colonial days to the mid-19th century century at the 12 noon and 3pm presentations on Sunday, March 18.

Robinson, a graduate of Drexel University, has exhibited her own quilts in juried national shows. She is also a professional quilt appraiser. Robinson has studied quilting with American quilt historian Barbara Brackman who helped Seaway Trail officials develop the guidelines for the 1812 theme show.

Both of the presentations on Sunday, March 18 are free with admission to the Great Lakes Seaway Trail War of 1812 Bicentennial Quilt Show that will feature the uniquely-sized cot-to-coffin quilts from 18 U.S. state and Canada; living history reenactors, “President James Madison,” and costumed quilters; a vintage reproduction sewing implements exhibit; demonstrations; and vendors.

Friday, March 2, 2012

National Award Honoring Quilt Show Founder Teresa Mitchell to be Presented March 17

Deborah Divine, Co-Executive Director of the National Scenic Byway Foundation (NSBF) Board of Directors, will visit Sackets Harbor from Salinas, Kansas, to present the family of the late Teresa Mitchell with the NSBF’s first Lifetime Service to Byways Award.

The Award is being named in Teresa’s honor and she will be its first winner, having earned it with indeed a lifetime of service to promoting the concept of byways as an American touring tradition and as a vital economic engine for our local, state and national economies.  She guided the Great Lakes Seaway Trail to become America’s leading model of byway development.

Teresa served from 2005-2010 as the first Chairperson of the NSBF that she helped form in 2005 on behalf of all of America’s Byways nationwide. 

This presentation is part of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail War of 1812 Bicentennial Quilt Show, developed by Teresa Mitchell as a cultural heritage tourism event promoting travel the length of the 518-mile National Scenic Byway in NY and PA.

The event has expanded this year to include three historic venues in the village of Sackets Harbor and costumed living history interpreters.  Along with 1812 period-correct quilts from 18 U.S. states and across Canada, there will be a special exhibit of quilts, including the 1812 quilt pictured below, all made by Teresa Mitchell who passed away in January 2012.