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!