Friday, April 24, 2015

New England Quilt Museum to Host 1812 Quilt Exhibit

If your summer travels take you to the Boston area be sure to visit the Great Lakes Seaway Trail War of 1812 Traveling Quilt Exhibit at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA. The 26 best-of-show quilts from the 2012 challenge will be on display until late July.

The exhibit of 26 quilts newly-made, but true to 1812-period quilting patterns, fabrics and colors and Great Lakes Seaway Trail “storyteller” interpretive panels on “America’s second war for independence” is traveling to quilt shows, museums and historic venues across Canada and the U.S. through 2015.
1812 style quilt by Diane MacLeod Shink, Montreal

The Great Lakes Seaway Trail is a National Scenic Byway that follows the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Niagara River and Lake Erie in New York and Pennsylvania. Much of the War of 1812 was fought along this strategic freshwater shoreline.

The traveling exhibit includes 20 American-made “cot-to-coffin” quilts from 11 states and six Canadian-made quilts from three provinces. The 30-inch-wide by 70-inch-long sizing represents the average height of a man during the war.

"The Great Lakes Seaway Trail Quilt Show War of 1812 theme inspired quilters on both sides of the international border to learn more about that period in history and the struggle for North America, to interpret the War’s Bicentennial in many interesting and personal ways, and to share their own family ties to that time. We are pleased to share these unique quilts with visitors to the New England Quilt Museum,” Great Lakes Seaway Trail Project Manager Lynette Lundy-Beck said.

Story cards with each quilt share the factual history represented by the quilt or the imagined tale of a family sending a loved one off to the war.

For more information, visit

For more details on traveling the Great Lakes Seaway Trail byway, visit

Sunday, July 13, 2014

1812 Quilts on Display at Fort Ontario all Summer Long!

If you missed the Great Lakes Seaway Trail War of 1812 Quilt Challenge Traveling Exhibit you will have a chance to see it this summer in Oswego, NY. The 26 best-of-show quilts from the 2012 challenge will be displayed at Fort Ontario thru September.

This International Traveling Exhibit of Cot-To-Coffin quilts combines history and fabric in an inspired storytelling fashion of the times. Story cards for each quilt share the factual history represented by the quilt or a tale of a family sending a loved one off to war. Plan to visit the Fort this summer, fun for the whole family. 

The last quilt made by the late Teresa Mitchell, founder of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail.

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!