Sunday, December 26, 2010

Don Beld's 1880s Eagle Miniature Quilt

1880s Eagle Quilt
Don Beld
Quilt Artist, Designer, and Author
Bernice Foster
Machine Embroidery

Don Beld choose the 1880s and created this beautiful work of art for my decade by decade project. Notice the Indigo and pink used in this piece, the 8-pointed star, and the way he finished the binding in a traditional straight edge "rounded corner" -- all popular in quilts from this time period. The hand-pieced, hand-quilted workmanship in this reproduction piece is wonderful.

Bernice Foster - Machine Embroidery Eagle

Many of you know Don and are familar with his work, but let's revisit Don's quilt biography:

A quilt artist and historian, Don Beld is the founder and guiding force behind the Home of the Brave Quilt Project which delivers replica Civil War soldiers quilts to the families of the Fallen Heroes from Iraq and Afghanistan which is an on-going project.

In 2010 Don was featured in one of the chapters in a book written by Joe Cunningham entitled Men and the Art of Quiltmaking. Mr. Beld and his co-author Pam Weeks have co-authored a book of their own entitled Quilts for Union Soldiers which will be available for purchase in late 2011.

Don is available for lectures and workshops by contacting donbeld@pacbell. An exhibit of his Civil War soldiers quilts will be featured at the International Quilt Study Center in Nebraska in 2012 and 2014.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Merry Christmas from Illinois and Summer Spread Defined

Besides quilting, I like to cook - hate to do dishes (even with a dishwasher), but I love to cook. So every year at Christmas in my regular and online Christmas cards, I send a Recipe Newsletter, instead of a Newsie Newsletter.

Before I share my recipe, here is an idea I'd like to share that is not exactly quilt related, but it is one that I have been doing for about the last ten years - maybe you'll like it to.

I started a file on my computer with our family recipes. I divided them up in sections in the file -- just like they do in the regular cookbook and then when anyone in our family or friend circle gets married (or graduates from HS - if there is an interest in cooking). I copy it off and put it in a three ring binder with those subject dividers (remember them from high school - English, Math, etc. etc. ) only I write in the different food groups.

I buy the three ring binders with the paper insert ability on the front and I make up a sheet which reflects the person(s) receiving the cookbook - insert that in the front. It is all recipes that are tried and true. This is an easy and very USEFUL gift for kids heading off to college, getting married, or starting their life away from home for the first time.

Now my online Christmas card to you....

Christmas 2010

Fresh Apple Cake Preheat oven: 350 Grease: 9 x 13 cake pan

In a large bowl combine:

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 ¼ cups canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
3 medium Granny Smith Apples – peeled, cored, and chopped (3 cups)

Spoon Stir batter only until it is moist (batter will be thick) – Do not use a mixer.

Spread batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean.

Special Note: If you do decide to substitute another kind of apple make sure you use another type of baking apple.

Centennial Eagle Summer Spread 1870-1910

Parks Wildemuth Collection

Summer Spread Defined: A summer spread has the look of a quilt and/or a quilt top, but is not a quilt for a very simple reason - it is not quilted. Like the piece above it is usually a single layer with the edges finished (quilt top has unfinished edges - summer spread's are finished). Summer spreads are usually applique.

What did they use summer spreads for?

When I was a sophomore in HS we (my grandpa and I) visited my Aunt Frances in North Carolina on an airplane --it was my grandpa's first airplane ride and I was to help him get through the airport at O'Hare. On that trip we visited my aunt's mother on her farm - little did I know back then that there would be a farm in my future. It must have been foreshadowing of what was to come because I fell in love with this big two story farmhouse next to a creek filled with antiques. It was the kind of place an author would live in and that lady could cook to - you have not lived until you had a slice of one of her pies.

My cousin and I were wandering about the place and went upstairs because she wanted to show me her grandmother's quilts. In one bedroom there was a four postered bed stacked with quilts laid flat and all were covered with a "summer spread." Aunt's mom used one her of her summer spreads to protect her stash of quilts from the sun and dust.

BUT...I believe the more common use for them was as a bedspread during the summer.

Merry Christmas everyone and all the best with all your projects.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Terry Clothier Thompson’s “A New Nation”

“A New Nation”
Decade: 1770s
Terry Clothier Thompson 2010

I know you have seen her books, patterns, attended a class/lecture, or maybe attended/hosted one of her quilt history FabriCamps....her name is Terry Clothier Thompson and she is a designer, quilt artist, and historian from Kansas.

Terry agreed to participate in my eagle motif project and was the first one to tackle the 18th century – her decade was the 1770s. If you have seen or own her book Made in America 1776-1830: Quilts of the Daughters of Liberty you will know that this time period of American history is one of her favorites.

Her inspiration for this wallhanging was an image of the Daughter of Liberty. She added the design of a baby eagle to represent a brand new nation. Next, Terry appliquéd her Daughter of Liberty and baby eagle on a reproduction (fabric) of what could have been a design of an early American textile printer after the Revolutionary War.
I love the detail the embroidery brings to the piece.

Terry calls her eagle motif wallhanging… “A New Nation.”

I call this beautiful piece…a work of art!

Visit Terry at her Web Site and go to her FabriCamp Heading and see if that is something that would work for your quilt history group, quilt guild, or your sit and sew group. It looks like fun!


Terry Clothier Thompson
425 Pasadena Drive
Lawrence, KS 66049
Phone & Fax# (785) 865-2587
Web Site:

Debby Rake’s “Eagle in the New Century”

“Eagle in the New Century”
Decade: 1900s
Deborah S. Rake 2010

A designer, artist, and quilt historian with a Master of Arts in Textile History/Quilt Studies, she is known in some circles as Deborah S. Rake but those of us who live in the Midwest (and these days in Texas), know this nice lady by the name Debby.

I first met her at a meeting of the Iowa Illinois Quilt Study Group in Kalona, Iowa back in early to mid 2000s. Back then she lived in small Iowa community and had a tie to the University of Nebraska quilt center and the study of Kit Quilts. These days Debby resides in Texas with her family and serves as the Secretary on the Executive Board of the Quilters’ Guild of Arlington, Inc. (Arlington, Texas).

Debby does not know this, but I contacted her about being part of this eagle motif project back in September because of a redwork square she did a few years back that I have NEVER forgotten She embroidered, in redwork, a copy of the State of Illinois county map, in what I would term as miniature. The Illinois quilt square was part of a fundraising project and what would, along with other redwork squares from other IIQSG members, become a part of a permanent redwork artifact at the Kalona Quilt and Textile Museum in Kalona, Iowa.

I saw this piece first because she sent it to my home to take to the next meeting. I can’t embroider to save my soul, but Debby can and she did an amazing job on that square. I’ll be honest – I did what I was supposed to do and passed the piece on to the proper person at the next IIQSG meeting, but I don’t mind telling you I didn’t want to. That is one piece I fell in love with and I am happy to report it has a good home at the quilt museum in Kalona, if you ever want to see it.

I approached Debby and asked her would you consider being part of my eagle motif decade by decade project and she said “sure.” She picked the 1900s and what you see above is her interpretation called “Eagle in the New Century” and she did a fine thing she utilized the crazy quilt format and her amazing embroidery skills to create the piece of me.

And I love it!

Deborah Fell's "Coming Together or Falling Apart?"

"Coming Together or Falling Apart?"
Decade: 2010s
Deborah Fell - 2010
Deborah Fell is an Urbana, Illinois quilt artist who took on the challenge of the decade 2010s for my eagle motif decade by decade project. Not an easy task when you consider the decade of her choice is just beginning and there is nothing that has "already taken place" to draw on for inspiration.

That takes creativity and vision. Deborah has both of those qualities.

Here is Deborah's biography - taken directly from her web site

"Deborah Fell is a studio artist committed to the art quilt medium. She is a professional member of the Studio Art Quilt Associates, the Surface Design Association and has had over twenty years of education at the Quilt/Surface Design Symposium in Columbus , Ohio . Deborah focuses on abstract, organic shapes using surface treatment such as dyeing and painting fabric. Deborah has obtained national recognition for her work. Her art has been exhibited in venues such as the United Nations Building in New York City; the Moscone in San Francisco; Art Quilt Elements at the Wayne Art Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; The Works Gallery in Newark, New Jersey which is a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate Museum; in Pakistan through the U.S. State Department Arts in Embassies Program; and the premier international exhibit Quilt National. One of Deborah’s art quilts appeared on the front cover for the American Journal of Nursing; another art quilt is a part of the former Ground Zero Headquarters— St. Paul Trinity Chapel—collection. Most recently, Deborah was asked to collaborate with ABC TV Host Ty Pennington to create the special art project for Extreme Home Makeover, Season 7, Montgomery House. In 2010, Deborah will have an art piece part of an Obama art exhibit; this exhibit opened in Tokyo in 2009. Deborah says, “Art allows us to move from one place to the next. I do art because I believe art makes a difference in our world; it is a gift we give ourselves and it is a celebration of our very souls.” Deborah continues to be a studio artist committed to the art quilt medium."

Stop by and visit her web site when you get a chance - she is an amazing artist (and teacher), who creates one-of-a kind pieces of art.

Special Note: Scroll back up to the full view picture of her wallhanging -- do you notice "the flag" look of the piece? I love those kinds of details.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Remembering Grant and the 1870s

By now you all know about my Eagle Motif Decade by Decade Project (if not scroll down through my old blogs and you’ll find the information about it). I have been commissioning other quilt artists and /or historians to create 24” x 24” wallhangings that have an eagle motif in them and reflect a certain decade.

Side note: The 1980s and the 1830s (and any decade before 1830s) are still open, if anyone is interested in creating one of these wallhangings for me.

Back to business……. I wasn’t going to do one of these wallhangings myself – then I was – then I wasn’t, but then I decided I really should – how can I expect someone else to do something I would not do myself. I waited until most of the decades were spoken for before I made a choice. I choose the 1870s and I choose to honor President U.S. Grant with my eagle motif piece.

My inspiration for the piece came from a trip we took to Galena, Illinois this summer for my family reunion – my brothers and their families drove in from various parts of Iowa and Illinois. Beautiful town Galena, Illinois – someone should write a time travel book about it because there are still spots in that town that haven’t changed since the time Grant walked the streets there. Grant’s home still exists - it is a historic site and if you decide to visit Galena a must-see on your trip to this neat city.

Most of my fabric came from and Hancocks of Paducah online stores. Many of the fabrics used were from the Old Glory line – lots of fat quarters. This piece also utilizes some antique textiles and buttons (antique and new). I used fabric photo transfer sheets for the computer from Joann’s. The piece is hand-quilted and hand-pieced.

Here is my tribute to the 1870s and my eagle motif wallhanging “Remembering Grant:”

The Eagle

Left Upper Corner

Right Upper Corner

Left Lower Corner

Lower Right Corner

Centennial Side Left Side Piece

Chicago Fire Right Side Piece

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Art Quilt with a Historical Twist

I have been a traditional quilter (hand piecer - hand quilter) since 1985 when I took my first class at our local community center - my son was two and I was looking for a creative outlet and a way to meet other moms. I became hooked on quilting the first night of class -- the teacher even said -- you love this don't you? I did and still do. I put away my oil paints and brushes and have never looked back.

I never thought I would venture into the art quilt arena though, but I have always been drawn to pictorial quilts because they tell stories. I decided in 2010 to try my hand at creating an art quilt, but I knew the wall hanging would have to tell a story, incorporate my love of history, and of course it would need to have an eagle motif on it.

My Defining Moment Art Quilt Series was born.

My definition of a defining moment is a point at which the essential nature or character of a person is revealed or identified and because of this moment, event, or discovery their life is changed forever.

This piece entitled "The Eagle: Walter Carlin Parks, Jr." is the first wall hanging in my series. It honors my dad whose defining moment, like so many others of his generation, was WWII. If you want to know the whole story about my father go to my web site:, go to the community by community section, scroll down to Atkinson, click on "Earning the Eagle's Badge," and you'll find my dad's story is there.

The aircraft carrier on fire (in the Storm at Sea quilt pattern) was my dad's ship the St. Lo.
It was hit by enemy fire and sank in the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

A "not so" final word about art quilts.....
I love the "no rules" aspect of art quilts - you can use ANYTHING in them from buttons to string to fabric to thread to ribbons to photographs (the list is endless) and it frees you up to create and tell a story the way you want to.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hoffman 2011 Quilt Challenge

"This year the Hoffman Challenge is celebrating its 23rd Anniversary. The Challenge started with 94 enthusiastic quilters, and in some years, the number of entries has grown to more than 700. In addition to the three quilt categories (pieced, appliqué and mixed technique), new categories include clothing (wearable art), accessories, and dolls."

If you are interested in participating in this challenge, here is the web site with all the information you will need to know:

If you'd like a glimpse at 2011 fabric and coordinating fabrics to be used on this challenge, they can also be found on this page. Each one is a beauty and perfect for a Broderie Perse quilt even if you decide not to participate in the contest.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Quilt Kit Identification – Rosie Werner’s Quilt Kit Research Web Site

Cinderella Youth Quilt Kit
LeeWards - Elgin, Illinois
Mail Order Catalog

Researcher, lecturer, and collector Rosie Werner is an independent quilt historian who specializes in identifying 20th Century Quilt Designs that were sold as kits. She established her web site “Quilt Kit Identification” to help us date and identify appliqué, crib, cross-stitch, embroidered, and pieced quilts that were sold through art needle company retail stores and mail catalogs.

Her documentation includes:

Photo or Drawing of the Quilt
Name and Number of the design
Company or Designer
Materials in Kit
Quilting Designs
Original Price

Extras Include:
· Stories Behind the Quilt Kit Companies and Designers
· Reading List

This is a subscription-based web site.

For more information contact:

Rosie Werner
P.O. Box 18
Dundas, Minnesota 55019

Web Site:


Telephone: 507-645-7995

Cell: 507-649-0171

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Quilt Your Colors Quilt Contest 2010 - Joann Fabrics

I went to Joann Fabrics this afternoon and discovered they are conducting a contest. There is not much time left to participate in the contest, but here is the information anyway.

Quilt Your Colors Quilt Contest 2010 Official Rules


(a) Entrants must make a quilt using all fabric purchased at a Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store or from®. Quilts must be at least 36"x36" (lap size), but no larger than 104"x93" (king size). Quilt kits are permitted, but entrant must make the quilt with little or no assistance from others. No groups or teams are allowed.
(b) Entrants must submit at least two color photographs of the quilt for a complete entry – one photograph showing the entire quilt in a hanging position and one close-up photograph showing detail. Each entrant may submit a maximum of five (5) photographs of the quilt.
(c) Each entrant may submit only one entry. All entries MUST include all of the following to be eligible:
1. Completed official entry form available online at or at your local Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store.
2. Photocopy of Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store or® receipt(s) showing proof of purchase of all fabrics used to make the quilt.
3. At least two color photographs (one of entire quilt hanging and one of detail), but no more than five (5) photographs, of the quilt. Photos should be no smaller than 4"x6" and no larger than 5"x7" and should list entrant’s name, address and telephone number on the back of each photograph. All photographs become the property of Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores® and will
not be returned. No professional photography allowed.
4. Each entrant must sign the Liability and Publicity Release and Consent (“Release”) at the bottom of the entry form.
5. Mail your complete entry to: Quilt Your Colors Quilt Contest 2010, Jo-Ann Stores, Inc., 5555 Darrow Rd., Hudson, Ohio 44236. Entries must be postmarked by December 18, 2010, and received no later than December 31, 2010. Hand-delivered entries will not be accepted and if left at our office will not be entered in the Contest. Incomplete or illegible entries will be disqualified. Jo-Ann Stores, Inc. is not responsible for lost, late, misdirected, mutilated or postage due mail.


Contest is open to legal U.S. residents residing in the 50 United States (other than residents of the States of Maryland and Vermont) and the District of Columbia who are age 18 or older at the time of entry. Contest is void in Maryland and Vermont. Officers, directors, and employees of Jo-Ann Stores, Inc., AccuQuilt™, Fabric Traditions®, Gingher®, Gutermann®, OttLite®, Simplicity®, Singer®, Springs Creative, The Warm™ Company, Sew Essentials™ and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, and immediate family members (parent, child, spouse, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister) and members of the households of such persons (whether or not related) are not eligible to participate in the Contest. By participating, entrants grant Jo-Ann Stores, Inc. permission to use entrants’ names, hometowns, and likenesses (including the photos submitted in the entries) for advertising and promotion purposes in any media, without limitation and without additional compensation (except where prohibited by law). Unaccepted prizes may not be awarded. By entering you agree to these Official Rules and to all decisions of the judges, which are final and binding.


A panel of sewing experts will judge all eligible entries and will select twenty (20) finalists based on the workmanship/skill level, originality, and level of detail shown in the photographs submitted with each entry and the information about the quilt provided on each entry form. The twenty finalists will be notified via e-mail and/or telephone on or about January 28, 2011, and must send the actual quilt that is the subject of the entry to Jo-Ann Stores, Inc. prior to February 11, 2011, for further judging. Jo-Ann Stores, Inc. will provide finalists with a self-addressed pre-paid label in order to ship quilts. Finalists must not include potpourri or scented items with shipment of their quilts, or quilts will be disqualified. All quilts will be returned after judging. Jo-Ann Stores, Inc. is not responsible for any loss or damage associated with shipping the quilts. Any finalists who do not provide the actual quilt for judging will be disqualified. Jo-Ann Stores, Inc. may decide to select another finalist to replace a disqualified finalist, or not, in its sole discretion, except that Jo-Ann Stores, Inc. will ensure that there are at least 15 finalists for purposes of the final judging. The judges will select one First Prize, one Second Prize, one Third Prize and seven Runner-Up winners based on the workmanship/skill level, originality, and level of detail demonstrated in the quilts themselves. No telephone calls or correspondence will be accepted from contestants inquiring on winners or judge’s selections. The ten winners will be notified of the final prize awards by e-mail and/or telephone on or about March 4, 2011, and will have 5 business days to contact Jo-Ann Stores, Inc. regarding their prizes. Judges include representatives from Jo-Ann Stores, Inc. Anyone not complying with all the Contest rules will automatically be disqualified. Limit one prize per person. Winners will be required to sign and return an affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release, and a W-9 form, if applicable, within 7 business days from the date sent. Failure to return these items in the time noted will result in disqualification of the entry and may result in the selection of an alternate winner from among the remaining eligible finalists according to the judging criteria above. Return of any prize or prize notification as “undeliverable” will result in disqualification and an alternate winner may be selected. If a potential winner cannot be reached after a reasonable effort has been made during 5 business days from the first notification attempt, such person will be disqualified. Because this is a contest of skill, odds of winning depend upon the quality and eligibility of submissions received and entrants’ final overall score, as determined by the judging criteria. Winners are solely responsible for all applicable federal, state and local taxes on prizes.


Cash prizes will be awarded in the form of a check made payable to the winner. Jo-Ann Stores, Inc. will arrange for shipment of the checks and gift cards, as applicable, to each winner’s address provided in the declaration and forms via courier within 6 to 8 weeks after confirmation. Gift cards are subject to the terms and conditions generally applicable thereto. Merchandise prizes will be shipped to each applicable winner’s address within 8 to 10 weeks after confirmation. Prizes are non-transferable prior to award and no substitutions are allowed except by Jo-Ann Stores, Inc. in its sole discretion.


By participating in the Quilt Your Colors Quilt Contest 2010, you agree to release and hold Jo-Ann Stores, Inc., its subsidiaries and affiliates, and their respective directors, officers, employees and agents harmless from any and all losses, damages, rights, claims, and actions of any kind in connection with the Contest or any product purchased, or resulting from acceptance, possession, use or misuse of any prize, including, without limitation, personal injuries, death, and property damage, including any damage or loss to any quilt submitted, and claims based on publicity rights, defamation, invasion of privacy, or breach of intellectual property rights whether suffered by you or a third party. The Contest is void in Maryland and Vermont, and wherever prohibited or restricted by law, and is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. By participating, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of Jo-Ann Stores, Inc. and waive any right to claim ambiguity in the Contest or these Official Rules.


For a list of prize winners, mail a business-size, self-addressed stamped envelope, accompanied by a hand-printed request to Winners List Request, Quilt Your Colors Quilt Contest 2010, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores®, 5555 Darrow Rd., Hudson, Ohio 44236. All requests must be received from December 1, 2010, to January 31, 2011. Vermont residents may not participate in the Contest, but may omit return postage if they request a list of prize winners. Contest is governed by U.S. law. The names, logos, and icons identifying the products and services of Jo-Ann Stores, Inc. are proprietary marks of Jo-Ann Stores, Inc. Jo-Ann Stores Inc., 5555 Darrow Rd., Hudson, Ohio 44236 is the Sponsor.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Eagle Scout Art Quilt

I love quilt history and quilts that tell stories. It's no secret that I love eagle quilts, the history of that particular motif, and how it can appear and has evolved on quilts. I had been hunting for a Boy Scout quilt with the Eagle Scout quilt symbol on it for a spell to go into my collection of eagle quilts. You can't share the history of that particular motif in America and leave out the eagle scout symbol.

After about four years on the hunt, a light bulb went off in my head - why not commission someone to do an art quilt, one of those one of a kind pieces, that can only come from a truly gifted quilt artist's head. It is a win-win situation. The artist wins, you as the collector wins, and the world of quilt study wins - why not.

I went to quilt artist Jennifer Myers of Ohio (Google Art quilts by Jen) and she created this pictorial wallhanging for me which stirs up memories for this former den mother and summer camp mama and makes me smile. I loved that time in my life and learned many things - most of those boys are in the middle to late twenties now and I see them occasionally. Hard to believe, but a nice memory to be a part of.

I never guide a quilt artist - I let them have free reign -- I tell them I want this size, this theme, and the eagle motif in it and then I let them go. I guess it comes down to this -- to me, I feel too much imput on my part stifles creativity, I TRUST THEM to create a piece for me, and I have NEVER been disappointed.

This quilt came completely from Jennifer's imagination, but it is interesting that the boy scout camp she depicted looks amazingly similar to the one my son used to attend and I used to work at. Next spring if I can remember I will repost this blog and add a "spring" picture of my son's old scout camp. You will be surprised at how similar they are in appearence.

The boys in this piece look like they are having fun, don't they?

Thanks again Jennifer - as always a wonderful job.

Remember quilt history ladies and gents -- you can't find the quilt you're looking for then consider giving a quilt artist the opportunity to make it for you. Like I said earlier, it is a win/win situation.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Eagle Motif Wallhanging Decade by Decade Project

I collect eagle quilts - antique, vintage, and new. I call my collection of eagle quilts the Parks-Wildemuth Collection to honor my parents and my husband.

Eagle Motif Wallhanging Decade by Decade Project

I was walking one day and an idea occurred to me to commission wallhangings – decade by decade traditional or art wallhangings with eagle motifs by quilt artists and/or historians whose work I admire to add to my collection of eagle quilts. The more I thought about that the more I loved the idea. I took a chance and approached my first quilt artist, designer, and historian and that dear soul said yes…..

And the rest is history.

I have a variety of quilt artists and/or quilt historians who have created these eagle motif wallhangings or are in the process of creating them for me.

I am looking for more quilt artists and/or historians to create more eagle motif wallhangings. The only decades that are open (and not spoken for) are 1830, 1870, and 1980 – if you’d like to do wallhanging utilizing the 1820s or an earlier decade we can talk about that too. If you decide you would like to participate, I will need you to contact me first and choose one of the decades not spoken for above and I will save that decade back for you.

Contact: Sue Email: and put the words Eagle Motif Decade by Decade Project in the subject line.

The Criteria

The wallhanging has to have an eagle motif in it.

It can be based on an antique eagle quilt or it can be an original design.

It has to represent, either by the eagle motif or the fabric or the design in the quilt - the decade it represents. In other words someone looks at it and they say ahhh - that's the 1970s or that's the 1970s version of the eagle motif.

The maximum size of the wallhanging is 24 inches by 24 inches but it can be smaller than that too.

The wallhanging should reflect the work of the designer who made it.

The piece can have a traditional interpretation or an artistic interpretation.

The wallhanging needs to be signed, dated, and named – a sleeve for hanging – if possible.

It does not matter whether it is hand pieced and hand quilted or machine pieced and machine quilted.

The person can use either period or reproduction fabrics. I get mine from (Margo)

I would like a photograph (scan) and a biography of the person who created the quilt.

The deadline for the piece is very open -- no hurry and no worry.

I pay a fair price for the commission and for shipping it to me.

What Will I Do with Them

The quilts are going into my eagle collection, but someday I will exhibit the wallhangings as a group - giving the artist who created them full credit in the exhibit for creating them -- I would simply be the owner of the commissioned piece.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button

The neat thing about being involved in quilt and textile history and taking it one step further to write about it, have a web site devoted to it, and a blog (which is less formal than a web site, free to produce, and fun to participate in) on the same subject is you get the opportunity to:

  • meet lots of people from all over the United States and beyond
  • network and share information
  • alternate from being the student to the teacher in the comfort of your own home

    Dorothy Krugner and I met each other through our love of NRA (National Recovery Administration) or the Blue Eagle Campaign information – me from an eagle quilt collector and her from a button collector perspective.

    I think Dorothy is probably one of the go-to ladies about buttons, in fact, I know she lectures and might even write about them – she also has an interest in the 1930s – NRA period in history. Dorothy and I did some business together and this dear soul sent me this framed piece with three buttons on it and isn’t it neat! I love going to the mailbox sometimes and finding these unexpected treasures waiting for me.

In Dorothy’s words….”The NRA button is a stamping from an original die – the middle button is probably from the 1876 centennial, and the bottom button is a Danforth Pewter made in 1992.”

It makes sense that buttons, like quilts and textiles, have stories to tell!

Thanks Dorothy for sharing!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Teddy’s 1950s Eagle Has Landed at My Home

"The Eisenhower Years" (or "Eagle Jumping Rope")
1950s Eagle Motif Wallhanging
Quilt Artist: Teddy Pruett
Commissioned for the Parks-Wildemuth Collection

Teddy Pruett created this wallhanging for me for my Eagle Motif Decade by Decade Wallhanging Project. Teddy took on the challenge of the 1950s and this piece is truly a one of a kind work of art by one of today’s most innovative quilt artists. Teddy calls this one “The Eisenhower Years” or by her “less formal” nickname “Eagle Jumping Rope.” It is an excellent example of Teddy’s work and I am so proud to own it.


I tried to get some close-up shots of the writing on the red and white striped border and of the eagle herself – love the elephant and donkey motif in the border. If you want to see more of Teddy Pruett’s amazing work, check out the quilt galleries on her web site:


Special Note About My Photographs: My photographs don't do this piece justice. This is the first time I have EVER used a digital camera to take pictures so I want you to know that this beautiful piece was photographed by a very inexperienced newbie digital photographer (me) who loves her 35mm Canon Rebel camera and was drug kicking and screaming into the digital age by her son and the digital version of the same grade of Canon camera – my lenses for both my 35mm and digital interchange or Susie would still be in the dark ages toting around her tripod and going to Walgreens to have her film developed.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Vintage NRA (National Recovery Administration) Blue Eagle Quilt Photograph is Uncovered

NRA Blue Eagle Quilt Photograph
Ida (Hall) Moorer

This treasure was waiting for me when I walked down our lane to get our mail at noon today.

It is a photograph of a NRA Blue Eagle Quilt that has found its way to me all the way from Nacogdoches, Texas via some side-stops along the way. I’m just in the beginning stages of researching this quilt.

The things I do know:

• I know Ida (Hall) Moorer made it. (Yes that is Moorer not Moore)
• I know this photograph is dated 1934.
• I know this quilt was made to honor the NRA.
• The Blue Eagle Campaign was only in existence from 1933 to 1935 when it was declared unconstitutional.
• I know this quilt was sent to Franklin Roosevelt.
• I know this quilt was created in Nacogdoches, Texas.
• I know the quilt is not at the FDR Presidential Museum and Library.

The thing I don’t know:

• I do not know the “oral” history behind this quilt, but I’m working on that.
• I do not know where the quilt is today so……

If you recognize this quilt from a private collection, historical society, or a museum, PLEASE e-mail me and let me know where “she” is at. My e-mail address is

There are two NRA (National Recovery Administration) Blue Eagle quilts at the FDR Presidential Museum and Library, there is one, possibly two in private collections (still researching that one too), and there is one in a West Virginia Museum. I know there are more out there that have not surfaced. If anyone knows of any other NRA quilts in existence, please contact me with that information too.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Jennifer Myers Quilt Artist

I commission and collect art quilts from various art quilters and/or quilt historians whose work I admire throughout the United States. For those of you who know me -- you know they usually HAVE to have an eagle motif on them and lean more towards patriotic and less towards wildlife, but I also like pieces that commemorate an historical event.

I met an amazing quilt artist (though we have never actually met in person) through a quilt I purchased from a third party. I would learn later that the quilt was designed and created by an Ohio quilt artist named Jennifer Myers. This quilt (wallhanging size) is the first piece I purchased from her -- it is called "9-11."

Author's Collection

This photo is good, but it does not do the piece justice -- I wish you could see it up close -- it is an eye popping design in person - musuem worthy in my book and I will send it to a musuem someday as it belongs there for a variety of reasons. This piece brings up emotions and isn't that what good art and music does -- makes you feel things, fires up memories, and touches that place deep within you - it's about beauty.

Well I commissioned another piece from Jennifer in 2010 - this one is part of a larger eagle motif project. I have been commissioning wallhangings from quilt artists and/or quilt historians - decade by decade which feature eagle motifs in them. Jennifer's decade was the 1960s.

Author's Collection

This one is called "To Everything There is a Season" and like "9-11" this is a masterpiece in my book and I am so proud to be the owner of it.

Jennifer Myers has a wonderful web site that has a gallery or archive of quilts she has created. It is Jennifer's Art Quilts - Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and treat yourself to a visit to Jennifer's archives and see her work.

I plan to commission another art quilt from Jennifer - I have the idea written in my journal and when the time is right I will approach her again. I like her work that much.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Eagle Quilting Stencil

I am a hand-piecer and quilter. My sewing machine and I agree that I shouldn’t bother her unless I am making a Halloween costume, mending jeans, or creating a modern craft item. This relationship works for us because my machine and I realized early on that I am not a machine-piecer and quilter. I just don’t have the talent or inclination for it.

So that means…..When I am not doing a cross-hatch pattern with my one inch wide masking tape (cross-hatch is my favorite quilting design, but NEVER leave the masking tape on from one quilting session to another); I occasionally utilize a quilting stencil and a white pencil specially made for marking dark fabrics or a silver pencil made for marking light fabrics. I NEVER use a #2 pencil. I learned the hard way that does not work for me. I do not have a light touch with a pencil and I have not found a really good way to get pencil lines to fade. NEVER NEVER NEVER use an ink pen to mark fabric.

Above is my lone and only modern eagle stencil. Now I have not used him yet, but I intend to when the right eagle quilt project comes along, but I wanted all you other hand-piecers and quilters out there to know there is an eagle quilting stencil available.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Ida A. Suits Friendship Knot – A Pieced Quilt with 25 Signatures

Can anyone help Arene Burgess - my quilt history friend and fellow Illinois researcher/historian with her research project --

Here is Arene's Story..........I'll let her tell it in her own words.

Who was Mrs. Ida A. Suits and what was the Hickory Grove Country Life Club? I have been trying, unsuccessfully, to learn the origins of this quilt and the maker since 1989 when it came into my possession.

I purchased this signature quilt from an Alton, Illinois woman who said she bought it at an estate sale of a Litchfield, Illinois doctor. Did the doctor take this quilt in payment for services? Did he or his wife win it in a raffle? Was it a retirement or appreciation gift?

The pattern is called Friendship Knot or Starry Crown (See the Collector’s Dictionary of Quilt Names and Patterns by Yvonne M. Khim, page 310.)

The names of the 25 people who signed this quilt are listed below. Mrs. Suits signed, dated, and identified herself as the maker. Did she make the top and quilt it alone or did she have help? A check through local telephone directories lists no Suits. This quilt has been displayed three times at local shows, but no one has come forward with any information.

Was the Hickory Grove Country Life Club one of a group of local clubs affiliated with an organization such as The Royal Neighbors, or the Modern Woodman? Did the Grange (a farmer’s organization founded in 1867) sponsor local clubs?

It is obvious that this quilt was made with a combination of purchased fabrics and scraps. This would indicate the quilt was planned as a raffle or fundraiser and the signatures were not just an afterthought.

I realize 74 years is a long time, but my hope is that someone will recognize all or one of these names and contact me with further information about the Hickory Grove Country Life Club or Mrs. Ida A. Suits or one of the following ladies/gentlemen listed below:

Names Embroidered on the Friendship Knot

Don Tipsword
Rosetta Tipsword
Ollie Roberson
Floy Roberson
Roy Bollman
Albert Jarvis
R.N. Suits
Mary Small
Mary Livingston
Julie Priddle
Agatha Jarvis
Evelyn Akerman
O.(?) L. Whitlock
Ella Whitlock
Mary Rosna Jett
John Priddle
John N. Suits
Luella Hill
Ida A. Suits (Maker of the quilt)
Lou Apiger
Thomas Priddle
Dennis (?) Priddle
Mrs. Guy
Byran Guy
Ed Priddle

Special Note:

If you have any additional information, recognize a name, or are related to anyone on this list, please contact me at my email address: Arene Burgess or contact Susan Wildemuth and she will put you in contact with me. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated and would forward my research -- Thank you!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Team Dog or Team Cat

I promise to make this quilt related, but first I want to share a word about dogs. I love them – especially beagles and/or beagle mixes - actually I gravitate towards all breeds of dogs. Here’s the thing…a dog does not care if your hair is done, your nails look good, if your face is scarred, or if you are wheelchair bound….none of that matters to them, they would adore you if you had one eye in the middle of your forehead that rotated all the time as long as you feed them, water them, give them shelter, and a head pat – it is that simple. You do those things and you will earn their loyalty for life.

I used to work part-time at a Humane Society and I was willing to do just about anything they asked of me – cleaning cages, potty pick-up, fur washing, feeding, walking, etc. etc. just to be with the dogs. That job was a real eye opener – it is amazing what people do to animals – simply put some people should never be allowed to have them.

Nicky Red Dog (Red Beagle Mix) - The first day at our home. I was told she had gained enough weight and was given the okay by the vet to be adopted out. Before us -- someone had left Red Dog on chain, dead of winter – no food, no water, she was infested with cooties which caused hair loss – actually they had almost starved her to death.

Nicky Red Dog Today – In quilt maker terms she is a rectangle with legs. Like me she has gotten a little robust as she matured – cheese will do that to you. She has a repartee of tricks – sit, sing to me, talk to me, bang your dead, high five, circle, circle, circle, lay down, fetch, and I want some cheese. She loves to go on walks. She loves to go for rides to Dairy Queen. She loves to work on the farm with my husband (actually she has become his dog). She helped my husband and I when we became empty nesters. She is a joy and her previous owners did not deserve her.

Our very first family dog was a beagle mix named Miss Spud – she was a sweet corn addict, absolutely adored our son – she was his dog, and we had her for 14 years. She passed away the winter before our son left for college. Spud had “street smarts.” She was quite a dog and faced off two coyotes in our backyard – and a skunk or two. Ewww! She was a brave little dog and protected our son with her life– loyalty like that, you have to love.

I promised to make this quilt related. There is a wonderful art quilter/designer from Illinois named Sharon Malec who has created a variety of animal patterns. She has a web site If that url does not get you in just Google Sharon Malec the dog lady and you will be able to reach her site that way.

Here is the cover of the pattern I purchased and used for our son’s high school graduation sampler:

Sharon Malec Design

It seems to me that most quilt makers I know have a pet, whether they are Team Dog or Team Cat or both. Do you agree?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Liberty Farm Journal and Farmer’s Wife Eagle Quilt

(Summer Spread)
Parks Wildemuth Collection

Why is my textile a Summer Spread and not a Quilt?

This pattern has been used in many a quilt, but the reason my textile is called a summer spread and not a quilt is because it is a single layer with no batting or backing. It is not quilted and the edges on this one are finished – similar to a modern day sheet.

Pattern Construction

This is a patriotic design. Three separate motifs are used in this quilt: #1 Eagle and Shield, #2 Bunting type border, #3 6-pointed Star. The blocks are 16 inch square, border is 14 inch wide.
It can be made into a quilt or a summer spread.

Pattern History

This is NOT a quilt kit.

The pattern Liberty appeared in Farm Journal and Farmer’s Wife Magazine in 1941. It was also featured in several vintage Farm Journal catalogs of patterns. The pattern was not included in the catalog, you had to send away for it. The buyer would then receive an envelope containing stapled sheets with instructions and pattern pieces commercially printed on them. In order to retain the integrity of the original pattern, some quilt makers made homemade templates from cereal boxes or other sturdy items because they would retain their shape after multiple uses and keep their original pattern safe from harm.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Iowa Illinois Quilt Study Group

The Iowa Illinois Quilt Study Group is a regional quilt and textile history study group which meets at the Kalona Quilt and Textile Museum in Kalona , Iowa and is open to everyone interested in studying quilts, quilt history, and textiles.

Meetings are the first Saturday in April and August of each year, the August meeting includes a silent auction. Items from the auction benefit IIQSG and a "speaker's fund" is being established with the proceeds from the auction.

"Attendees" come from Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota., Missouri, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Colorado with an occasional guest from Kansas – the meeting is open to everyone though - quilters, historians, and budding historians. IIQSG calls this an "attendee" group as each one pays $25.00 for the day and that includes a luncheon, display of 2 museum gallery shows (Amish and "English"), sharing of quilts of all attending, and a study with a group leader. (For those of you not involved a lot with Amish quilts, you probably need to know anyone not Amish are called "English" by the Amish). The Kalona Quilt and Textile Museum is pleased to have two galleries to recognize our large Amish community in Kalona. The other 14 buildings – on site – at the Kalona Historical Village are open for attendees also.

Pre-registration is highly recommended to IIQSG Secretary Juanita Seward of Wellman, Iowa. More information may be obtained from Juanita at

Future Meeting Topics:

August 2010 Crazy Quilts

April 2011 Stars

If you are interested in more information about IIQSG, attending one of the their meetings, or would like to volunteer at meetings. Contact: Secretary, Juanita Seward of Wellman, Iowa. More information may be obtained from Juanita at

Important News -- IIQSG has a publication

Pieces of Time – Quilt and Textile History Magazine

Attention Quilt and Textile History Researchers and Writers

The Iowa Illinois Quilt Study Group (IIQSG) publishes a quilt and textile history magazine entitled Pieces of Time. This magazine was begun to encourage beginning historians interested in writing of their research, as well as published historians and writers. Articles must be well researched and a bibliography attached. Writers interested in submitting articles for the publication should contact the editor Marilyn Woodin via e-mail at for article length and other rules for submission.

Pieces of Time has been published for 5 years and is now subscribed to from coast to coast and sold only at meetings, or by subscription. Subscription rate is $30.00 per year and subscriptions go to Susan Mardock – email Susan for postal address information

Monday, May 17, 2010

LeeWard Mills and LeeWards Elgin, Illinois

Do you remember LeeWards and those wonderful art needlework catalogs that used to arrive at your doorstep about four to six times a year?

Then go to my web site and click on the Illinois Community by Community section, scroll down to Elgin, and then scroll down to LeeWard Mills and LeeWards, click on the underline quilt history stories and you will be taken right to my most recently finished Illinois quilt and textile history research project.

Enjoy learning the rest of the story about LeeWard Mills and LeeWards.....

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Joan Kiplinger and Indian Head Fabric

Joan Kiplinger was the "go to" lady for Indian Head fabric. She had done a large and extensive research project about that particular fabric. We got to know each other via e-mail (she lived in Ohio and I in Illinois) through her research with Indian Head fabric and my research with Collingbourne Mills, Inc. and LeeWards. In the 1930s Collingbourne Mills, Inc. offered their stamped quilts squares in four different fabrics - one was Indian Head.

I'm not sure who contacted who first, but I do remember we shipped a 1930s Sears catalog back and forth so many times that catalog spent more time on the road than a 1930s traveling salesman. I also sent her scans from some of my vintage quilt catalogs and fabrics. She shared her knowledge of scanners and photographs. Later we talked of more personal things, but fabric brought us together.

I asked her about her Indian Head fabrics and three days later I got two sheets with fabric samples and explanations attached to them. That was the kind of person she was - a good and gracious soul with the heart of a teacher. She was a brilliant lady and when Joan Kiplinger passed, it was like a library had burned to the ground.

A dear quilt friend e-mailed me about Joan a day or two ago -- like me, she thought a lot of Joan too and it reminded me that I had these two pages with information about Indian Head fabrics so I thought I would not keep the information "hidden away" and Joan, since she knew I belonged to a regional study group, gave me permission to share it with anyone who was interested in Indian Head fabric. She also encourage me to keep a fabric study notebook and to collect antique and vintage fabric sample books/catalogs/cards.

Here is what Joan sent me:

Indian Head Pre-1920s
Grey Good, original Indian Head before permanent finish added in 1922
(Joan Kiplinger)

Indian Head 1950-70
All purpose cotton during Textron
Indian Head Mills and Indian Head Inc. Ownership
(Joan Kiplinger)

Indian Head 1953-1966
(Joan Kiplinger)
Special Note: Two and Three shows the difference with permanent finish.
This gives you an idea of print and solid. Dates determined by selvage.
(Joan Kiplinger)

Indian Head 1985
Also called Satinette at the time.
(Joan Kiplinger)


Not the heavy jean of sailor pants and waist coats

Medium Weight 2006
This jean took many rinses to overcome bleeding.
(Joan Kiplinger)

Lighter Jean or Soft Drill 1970s
(Joan Kiplinger)
If you want to learn more about Joan's work with all kinds of fabrics Google Joan Kiplinger - she wrote extensively on the subject in many venues.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Era of the Early Eagle Kit Quilts 1940 – 1970s

Sea Wings to Glory (Mountain Mist) 1940-1945

Parks-Wildemuth Collection


Wings Over All (Mountain Mist) 1940-1945 (No Picture)

Sea Wings to Glory and Wings Over All are not really quilt kits though they are often mistake for them. They are actually quilt patterns offered by Mountain Mist in the 1940s.

Here are the Eagle Quilt Kits:

American Eagle (Paragon) 1956-1975 (Woman’s Day Kit Quilt)

Parks-Wildemuth Collection


American Glory (Paragon) 1960-1975 (Good Housekeeping Kit Quilt)

Parks-Wildemuth Collection


Golden Eagle (LeeWards) 1960s

Parks-Wildemuth Collection


Americana (Herrschners) American Eagle (Bucilla)

Eagle (LeeWards) Liberty (Bucilla) Cross-stitch Eagle (Kit Quilt) 1960-1975

Parks-Wildemuth Collection


Americana (Paragon) Cross-stitch Eagle (Kit Quilt) 1960-1975

Parks-Wildemuth Collection