<![CDATA[ - Blog]]>Wed, 22 Nov 2017 19:31:47 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Support the Supporting Guilds!]]>Wed, 27 Sep 2017 01:00:55 GMThttp://nequiltmuseum.org/blog/support-the-supporting-guildsOn Sunday, September 17, I attended the Squanicook Colonial Quilt Guild show in Townsend, Mass.  It was a super show with lovely quilts, great vendors, a well-stocked boutique of handmade items for sale, delicious food choices for lunch- AND I won a door prize, a cute little bucket of 8 spools of Aurifil thread in eight different blues!  (Actually, I won a bucket with greens and purples but this prize, donated by one of the generous vendors, could be exchanged for any other colorway they had at the show.)
I love to attend the shows of other guilds for many reasons: to be inspired by beautiful quilts, of course; to shop at the boutique and vendors; to have lunch and make a day of it; and to get ideas to use at my guild’s show.  But I have another reason, and that is to support the guilds that support the New England Quilt Museum. 

Supporting Guilds are those guilds that make a minimal annual contribution to the museum based on guild size.  Currently there are more than 75 Supporting Guilds, all of whom receive the same benefits.  Those who can contribute at a higher level are eligible for additional perks.  One benefit of belonging to a Supporting Guild is a $5 discount when you join the Museum as a member or renew your museum membership, a nice benefit for the individual as well as a good way to encourage Museum membership.  Supporting Guilds receive invitations to special events each year, such as “Meet the Teachers” and an annual meeting for guild representatives to the Museum.  The guilds benefit from the resources of the Museum, and the Museum receives much needed donations and publicity from the guilds.

After a hot, busy summer off for many guilds, some ramp up the activity in the fall and hold their annual or biennial quilt shows then.  If you like, the Museum will advertise the quilt show of your Supporting Guild in its eblast, and when you come to visit the Museum, be sure to check out the display of rack cards for other shows.  Fall is a fun time for a road trip, and what better way to spend a day than at a quilt show!  Check out the information at http://nequiltmuseum.org/supporting-guilds.html and see the list of Supporting Guilds there.  Join a Supporting Guild or encourage your guild to become one, join the Museum, attend a show and maybe, just maybe, win a door prize!
- Dottie Macomber, NEQM library volunteer

<![CDATA[#1yearofstitches2017]]>Sun, 24 Sep 2017 23:37:05 GMThttp://nequiltmuseum.org/blog/1yearofstitches2017In honor of our current exhibit, “Gilding the Lily: Embroidery in quilts, past and present” we have this contribution from Donna Hopkins, a volunteer in the New England Quilt Museum Library:

It all began with a blank embroidery hoop and an online challenge to stitch every day for a year.  Last December I stumbled upon a blog post by Sara Barnes (www.brwnpaperbag.com/1-year-of-stitches-2017) about the project.  The idea of stitching every day and documenting on social media began in 2016 with Hannah Claire Somerville’s 365-day project (http://hannahclairesomerville.com/news.html and @1yearofstitches).  I was immediately hooked.
Before becoming a quilter, I always had a cross stitch or embroidery project in process.  After beginning quilting, embroidery, in the form of crazy quilting and red work, were incorporated in my quilts. But embroidery is time consuming and I hadn’t tackled anything major in several years.  The challenge seemed like a great kick starter.
Of course I had all the supplies (and then some) so I was ready to go.  Well, almost.  Part of the challenge is documenting your daily progress.  Sara created a Facebook group for weekly posts but participants needed their own social media accounts for daily posts.  So I quickly learned about Instagram and set up @makeronamaineisland.  (Use Google to search for this site)

A blank piece of fabric in a hoop was daunting until divided up into smaller sections.  The shapes were marked with Sue Pelland Designs’ Leaves Galore template.  My only “rule” was to use floss (no purl cotton or specialty threads) from my odds and ends bag of floss.  Stitch by stitch, the hoop is filling up.
Some weeks I’ve had a theme.  It might be color, stitch type (who knew there are as many as 55 variations of the chain stitch?), or inspiration from a book.  Others in the challenge use their stitches as a diary, stitching very personal images, words, and ideas.  It has been amazing to see what people around the world have created.  
Less than 100 days to go!  I haven’t missed a day of stitching or posting yet. It has been a wonderful experience.  Check out everyone’s progress by using Google to search for #1yearofstitches or #1yearofstitches2017.  You will be inspired!
Donna Hopkins, library volunteer

<![CDATA[Hurricane Harvey and the Four-legged Fur-babies]]>Sun, 03 Sep 2017 22:58:18 GMThttp://nequiltmuseum.org/blog/hurricane-harvey-and-the-four-legged-fur-babiesIn August, Hurricane Harvey hit Texas with record rainfall resulting in catastrophic losses.  Thousands of people have been displaced.  As always, whenever there is disaster or tragedy, quilters do what we do best- we quilt!

People are not the only ones displaced by this devastating storm.  Animals, both beloved pets and unfortunate strays, have also felt the fury of Harvey.  To answer the needs of hundreds of rescued animals, area shelters beyond the immediate impact zone have opened their facilities to accept these animals in need, and there is a unique organization that is helping these shelters.  The following is a statement from The Quilt Pattern Magazine’s website:

TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team was formed after Hurricane Sandy to help animal shelters affected by disasters. Started by TQPM (The Quilt Pattern Magazine - an international, digital-only publication), it is partnered with the Petfinder Foundation.
The TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team is a volunteer organization available whenever disasters strike - a way to join a larger effort helping our animal friends in times of need by doing what we love. There are over 500 members.
When disasters strike, TQPM checks with the Petfinder Foundation to see if there are shelters in need of assistance. Whenever Petfinder receives a request, the shelter's information is immediately sent to TQPM, which responds with a call requesting the correct mailing information - a necessity in case shelters have been severely damaged, and alternate housing has been set up. TQPM then sends an email to the TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team with the shelter's information and posts the request to their Facebook page.
The TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team springs into action making Kennel Quilts and sending them to the shelter along with a form explaining the Kennel Quilt program and naming the partners. Members also send TQPM a picture and the number of Kennel Quilts made, which is then posted on both the website and the Facebook page. To date over 5,500 Kennel Quilts have been sent to shelters all over the US.”

I am a member of the Small Kennel Quilt Team.  Periodically I receive emails from the TQPM to let me know of shelters that are requesting kennel quilts.  The requests can be due to natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey or because a shelter has rescued animals from extreme hoarding situations or puppy mills.  Whatever the cause for a sudden influx of animals, the shelters need small quilts measuring 12” x 18”, the size that fits into the most common small kennels and pet carriers.  These quilts are quick and easy to make; they can’t have binding, embellishments or anything that can be chewed off or caught on animals’ claws or toenails.  They can be in any design as long as the fabric is 100% cotton (but not flannel, which is not tightly woven enough for this purpose).  They can be any prints or solids; I have even used 12” orphan blocks and added strips of fabric to two sides to bring them up to the required size. The quilts can be pieced or whole cloth.  Minimal quilting is needed, just enough to keep the layers from shifting.
The latest kennel quilts I made were of cute dog-and-cat print fabric that was donated to the Quilt Museum.  All six quilts in the photo were made from that print on the front, but you can see the variety of fabrics I used for the backing.  This is a great place to use those odd fat quarters received in a guild swap, the ones that don’t go with anything else in your stash.  For both the piecing and the quilting, I used some strange variegated thread that I purchased who-knows-when for who-knows-what-purpose; I don’t think the animals will mind! 
Many generous donors give items to the Museum: books, magazines and quilt patterns for the museum’s library; and fabric and other sewing and quilting items for the museum’s shop.  Some of the fabric is packaged and sold to museum visitors; some is donated to other nonprofit organizations; and some, like the dog-and-cat print, is used by me or other volunteers to make items for charitable causes.  I sent the quilts in the photo to the San Antonio Humane Society, just one of several Texas and Louisiana shelters that have requested kennel quilts. 
I see the purpose of these kennel quilts as twofold.  Of course, they provide a soft and comfortable surface for animals in the shelter’s kennels or crates, but I think they also serve to cheer up the shelter workers, people who often do so much good with so little. 
If you would like to help by making kennel quilts, check out The Quilt Pattern Magazine’s website http://www.quiltpatternmagazine.com/program/KennelQuilt/
After all, as Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Dottie Macomber, museum library volunteer

<![CDATA[“Ooh Ahh!” and The Ultimate in “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”!]]>Wed, 28 Jun 2017 19:39:26 GMThttp://nequiltmuseum.org/blog/ooh-ahh-and-the-ultimate-in-reduce-reuse-recycleMost folks who visit our museum shop expect to find quilts, both old and new, for sale, as well as quilt-related books, new fabric precuts, gifts, and a “yard-sale” area of donated notions and sewing odds-and-ends.  What you might not expect to see is a wide variety of donated fabric.  You might also be surprised to learn  where this donated fabric comes from and where some of it goes when it doesn’t stay in the shop to be sold to visitors.

After our yearly “Text and Textile Sale”, many leftover fabrics were picked up by a church group and packaged for shipment to Syria.  The group packaged up 100 bags for shipment this summer!  Another large donation of fabrics was just picked up for shipment to Colombia. 

Recently, Paramount Pictures in Charlestown delivered a load of very interesting and unique fabrics from their costume department; these were left over from their last motion picture, “Two Men and a Baby, Part 2” and included faux fur, sequined fabrics, various mesh fabrics, and many spools of trim.  People who sew costumes as well as members of the local Cambodian community had a lot of fun going through these and finding new homes for much of the fabric and trims from this donation.  (There are still some bags of fabric and trims from this donation available for purchase at very reasonable prices.)

We also received a donation that included some neutral and geometric drapery fabrics; these were snatched up by someone to be used as backings on Quilts of Valor quilts.

Room and Board, a modern furniture and home décor store in Boston at the intersection of Newbury Street and Mass. Ave., sent us a donation of upholstery fabrics.  These make great stable backings for wall hangings and art pieces.  If you are going to use such fabrics for the back of placemats, totes or other items that will be washed and dried, Debbie Janes from the museum shop has found that you can prewash and dry most of these fabrics at hot temperatures to preshrink them before using them in items to be washed.

We never know where our next fabric donation will come from, or who will arrive in our shop to give those fabrics a new home.  Some folks wander in for the first time and discover something they can’t live without, and then there are the “Ooh Ahh Ladies”, our fond name for a small group of women who visit the shop at least once a week to go through our latest donations, exclaiming with delight at their finds.  What we do know is that this whole process is the ultimate in Recycling, Reducing our carbon footprint and the amount of material that enters the garbage stream by Reusing wonderful things that others have discarded.  Come visit our museum shop, check out our offerings and you, too, may be exclaiming “Ooh Ahh” over some delightful discovery!
Thanks to those individuals and entities who make donations of fabrics so we can offer them to groups and individuals for charity work and for personal quilting and sewing projects.
-Debbie Janes, Museum shop and Dottie Macomber, Museum Library volunteer
<![CDATA[Educated and Inspired]]>Wed, 03 May 2017 19:37:14 GMThttp://nequiltmuseum.org/blog/educated-and-inspiredWhen a museum is told that they did just that, it doesn’t get any better - unless you find out that you’ve educated and inspired an 8-year-old to embark on her own quilting journey!

This is just what happened when we received an email from Harry A., who visited recently from Maryland.  He and his girlfriend Patty were at Harry’s daughter’s home in north-central Massachusetts.  They were looking for something to do with Harry’s granddaughter Eileen and, because Harry knows that Eileen likes crafts, he suggested that they go to the New England Quilt Museum.  He said he likes that sort of thing too and told Eileen that they could go to the “Smurfs” movie after the museum.  “Well,” said Harry in a telephone interview, “we never got to the ‘Smurfs’!”  It seems that after Eileen saw the quilts in "The Crit Group" and the “Water is Life” exhibits, she wanted to sew for hours and just wouldn’t stop!  Read Harry’s account below as he reported it to us in an email:

Just so you know, your efforts have indeed Educated and Inspired.

Once my granddaughter saw the quilts on display (she liked the sister bathers and the African duality tree) she just had to buy a bag of scraps.  Then she hounded everyone to trust her at her grandmother’s sewing machine.  Within the hour of our return from Lowell, it was on a table with Eileen at the helm and Patty at her side.  My girlfriend, who is very loving, a great quilter and very, very patient, sat with Eileen, who NEVER GOT TIRED.  The attached pictures say it all - at least several thousand fun and wonderful words.  We all thank you for inspiring a natural quilter - none of us had a clue that this was in Eileen - who knew!?  Patty and Eileen worked up a small rooster (they had seen the chicken pincushions for sale in the museum’s gift shop), a huge rooster, then a crazy quilt, and THEN a mouse needle cushion.  The whir of the sewing machine was heard for the two days before Grand Pop and Patty had to leave for home. 
Again, thanks.
P.S.  I remember my grandmother teaching me how to quilt on a treadle machine - a story I NEVER SHARED with anyone until I voiced my interest in the displayed quilts and Eileen drew forward these forgotten stories of quilting. 

Thank you, Harry, for sharing with us.  It is rewarding to know that our work at the Museum has touched another and inspired her to start her own quilting journey. 
You can see from the photos that Harry sent that Eileen displays great concentration as well as joy and enthusiasm for her new venture.  She is also showing that spirit of creativity that so many quilters display: Harry wanted to make sure that we noticed the scarf that the large rooster is wearing!  With all the chicken and rooster pincushions I have seen, I’ve never seen one wearing a scarf!  You go, Eileen!  Have fun, keep creating, and keep writing your own quilting stories!

Written by Dottie Macomber, Museum Library volunteer

<![CDATA[A Wedding Gift from the Heart]]>Fri, 08 Apr 2016 00:07:49 GMThttp://nequiltmuseum.org/blog/a-wedding-gift-from-the-heartPicture
Last August, we got this e-mail request for quilting information:
Dear Martha Supnik - Might you be able to direct me to a source with which I can research the origin and history of the quilt block pattern named "Providence"? I have sewn one quilt block using the Providence pattern and my husband will be creating a frame for the block. This will be a wedding gift to our nephew and his fiancé who have recently moved to Providence, RI. I would love to have the history of the Providence quilt block pattern to accompany our gift. I appreciate any assistance you are able to provide. Thank you.
Sincerely, Kate Menard
I answered by asking for a photo of her block to identify it since one block can have many names and one name can be given to many different blocks. She sent me some links to photos of the block on the internet.
I used our complete collection of Quilter’s Newsletter Magazines which is indexed to find 2 articles for Kate, scanned them, and copied a list of the 1930s pattern sources mentioned in those articles and e-mailed it all to Kate. I noted that our library volunteers are happy to assist with research questions.  Unlike most institutions, the New England Quilt Museum library does not charge an hourly research fee.  We are grateful when people send us a donation check which Kate very generously did along with this photo of her completed project.
I thanked her for her donation and pointed out that we have this blog which shares our success stories with others.  She gave permission to use all their names, saying her husband, Eric Robinson, made the frame and she, Kate Menard, sewed the quilt block. The framed quilt block, with the Providence design, was a wedding gift to Matt Santacroce, her nephew, and Julie Maas, her new niece (in law) who got married in October 2015. 

​Martha Supnik, Library Volunteer

<![CDATA[ Spring Has Sprung in the Museum Shop! ]]>Wed, 16 Mar 2016 00:28:11 GMThttp://nequiltmuseum.org/blog/-spring-has-sprung-in-the-museum-shopSpring is almost here, and with the renewal of life in the great outdoors comes the renewal of life at the museum as well.  Now that winter appears to be over, visitors are venturing out again and attendance numbers are increasing, as they do each spring.  In addition to more visitors, we have seen a wonderful increase in the inventory in our shop!  People are donating and consigning items to be sold, and we have an amazing array of gifts and quilts from which to choose.
We have had some nice contemporary pieced lap quilts come in for both children and adults.  We have also added a nice group of quilts and tops from about 1830 to 1876 and two from the 1900’s containing an interesting mixture of fabrics.  (See the photos for some of these wonderful quilts.)  We have books for sale, fabrics from Sew Batik, and fat quarters priced at $2 each.   Volunteers are using both authentic and reproduction Asian fabrics to make table runners and placemats to sell in the shop; these complement our current stunning exhibit from Quilt Japan.

Our other exciting addition to the shop is real eye candy!  These are Kaga Yubinuki, made by a wonderful Japanese lady, Hitomi Lekstrom, who gave a presentation at one of our recent Brown Bag luncheons.  These Kaga yubinuki are contemporary versions of traditional Japanese thimble rings.  Kaga yubinuki were first made in the Kaga region of old Japan, in the southern part of the current-day Ishikawa prefecture.  This 500-year old Japanese style of silk thimble making was practiced by women using the scraps that remained after they made their kimono.  “Yubinuki” means thimble in Japanese, any kind of thimble, but Kaga yubinuki refers specifically to this type of silk thread thimbles.  (See photos)
Kaga yubinuki were originally used as thimbles worn on the tip of one’s index finger.  Since the art form was rediscovered and revived a decade or so ago, artisans like Hitomi are making them for use as jewelry: rings; pendants; kimono sash ornamentation; and scarf rings.  Collectors are now seeking out these gorgeous creations.  The museum shop is fortunate to carry some of Hitomi’s Kaga yubinuki, which would make memorable and unique gifts.  Come on in and see these and our other wonderful offerings!

Written by Debbie Janes, Museum Shop, and
Dottie Macomber, Museum Library Volunteer

<![CDATA[AMERICAN HEART ASSN. SPONSORS JURIED QUILT SHOW]]>Wed, 13 Jan 2016 21:09:49 GMThttp://nequiltmuseum.org/blog/american-heart-assn-sponsors-juried-quilt-show
The American Heart Association invites quilt makers to use their creativity to express how heart disease has affected them, their family, or their friends.
Download entry form on this page, or send an email request to: Cheryll Andrews at cheryll.andrews@heart.org or Anita Loscalzo at aloscalz@yahoo.com

Entry deadline: Postmarked by October 15, 2016
Acceptance notification: December 31, 2016
Exhibition/Luncheon: February 28, 2017
Call for Entries.pdf
File Size: 261 kb
File Type: pdf
Download File

Entry Form.pdf
File Size: 87 kb
File Type: pdf
Download File

Quilt makers whose works are chosen will be invited to attend the 2017 Go Red For Women Luncheon as guests of the American Heart Association's Waltham, MA Office.

Rules & how to enter:

  • Quilts must have been completed within the last two years, be made of fabric, and contain three layers. They will be judged on appearance, design, workmanship and theme.
  • Each quilt must be a minimum of 24 inches in each dimension and not exceed 160 inches for all four sides.
  • All works must be ready for installation with a minimum 4 inch sleeve across the top back of the quilt and a label with the quilt maker's name and address in a bottom corner of the back of the quilt.
  • The American Heart Association reserves the right to disqualify any work.
  • Shipping and insurance costs are the quilt maker's responsibility. However, the American Heart Association will pay for return shipment and insurance.
  • Limit of two entries per quilt maker.
  • Entries must be accompanied by two 3 inch by 5 inch photographs — one detail and one full-view shot. Each photograph must be labeled with the name of quilt maker, the title and completion date of work, and quilt's dimensions in inches.
Mail entry form and photos to:
American Heart Association
Attn: Cheryll Andrews
300 5th Avenue, Suite 6
Waltham, MA 02451
<![CDATA[Vintage Textiles Donated to the Museum Shop]]>Wed, 13 Jan 2016 01:44:10 GMThttp://nequiltmuseum.org/blog/vintage-textiles-donated-to-the-museum-shopPicture
A donor from Provincetown, Massachusetts recently gave some interesting textile pieces to the museum shop.  The most impressive of these items are two beautiful vintage christening gowns.  They are from East Boston and were made by machine, most likely by a professional seamstress, as the construction is very nice.   A museum volunteer has starched them, and they are on display in the shop; they are also for sale.  Either of these would be lovely stitched to a fabric background and framed.

The other items from this donor are small hexagon, or “hexie” pieces made by hand from old shirting materials. These items were made using the technique known as English Paper Piecing, and the basting stitches and the paper pieces are still in them.  Four of these hexie constructions have been framed in double frames so both the front and the back can be viewed.  There are some other unframed pieces, and both the framed and unframed pieces are for sale in the shop. There are empty diamond-shaped spaces in these pieces that were formed by the way the hexies were stitched together.  Some of the dark fabric is not colorfast, so these pieces were most likely made for decoration rather than for some practical use, such as a table covering.
Another vintage donation arrived at our shop in a different manner, literally by being left on the doorstep!  This is a large, double-sided piece made of hexagons, many of which are of silk or a similar material. It measures 68” by 80”.  The patches are larger on one side than the other. There is no batting between the layers..
All of these items would make lovely and unique gifts.  Come see them now in the museum shop

-Written by Debbie Janes, Museum Shop, and Dottie Macomber, Museum Library Volunteer
<![CDATA[Buy Her (or yourself) a Haori!!]]>Mon, 26 Oct 2015 00:24:14 GMThttp://nequiltmuseum.org/blog/buy-her-or-yourself-a-haoriLooking for a unique gift, one that she doesn’t already have?  How about a gift with a connection to Japanese tradition but one you don’t have to go to Japan to get?  How about a haori?  What’s a haori?  Well, let me explain.

Most people are familiar with the Japanese kimono, but they may not know that the traditional jacket worn over the kimono (in place of a sweater or a light jacket) is called a haori.  The construction of a haori is slightly different from that of a kimono; on a haori, the banding around the collar and down the front is narrower than on a kimono, and the haori is not worn overlapped in the front, as is the kimono. The sleeves are very much like the kimono sleeves and are great as pockets. Traditionally, a haori is fastened with a small, removable tie (himo) which is often made with beads and is hand woven.  These ties are made to be used on multiple haori, like a piece of jewelry.  

We have haori in our museum shop, ready for you to purchase.  Our haori do not come with the ties but they can be worn open, belted, or fastened with a brooch.  Haori can be worn in place of a jacket or sweater, and they look great with pants.  Some of the more formal haori have metallic threads and go well with formal wear.  Haori are usually made of silk, although there are cotton, wool and synthetic versions.  Sometimes you will see a haori that has large basting stitches (shitsuke) on the edges.  These stitches are added to help the haori keep its shape while being stored or dry-cleaned.  They can be removed easily or just left alone.

Haori are custom-made for each individual so you won’t find a size anywhere. We have regular haori in stock and also carry a version that is remade from a double-breasted Japanese coat; these will fit larger ladies.  They are made out of the same beautiful fabrics and have the same sleeves but do not have the banding around the neck and front.

So if you are looking for a unique gift you may want to consider a haori.  A gentleman from out of town stopped in the other day to buy his second haori.  He had purchased one last year for his aunt and his lady friend was so jealous that he had to come back for a second one!

Written by Jo Myers, Museum Shop
Edited by Dottie Macomber, Museum Library Volunteer