Monday, March 30, 2015
|one of my ten most amazing discoveries, now part of a museum collection|
|the second of two Willow Tree Quilts, c. 1815|
|the "Start the Car" quilt, c. 1860|
|Tile Blocks c. 1975, Louisiana|
|Tilton Family Quilt, c. 1840, Burlington County, NJ|
|pieced quilt, c. 1870, Virginia|
6) 1870s pieced quilt from Virginia: This quilt was not a bargain, but it was also worth a lot more than I paid for it. I found it on eBay from a seller in Virginia in 2004, and it is one of the best quilts I have ever found on eBay. A stunning example of precision piecing, in excellent condition, with pencil markings still visible; the zigzag borders are very unusual. It is one of 70 quilts in my new book.
|pieced quilt, c. 1800, Rhode Island|
5) c. 1800 Rhode Island pieced quilt: In March 2011, the sniper bid heard round the world went down on eBay, when this extraordinary quilt jumped from under $800 to over $5000 in the last ten seconds of the auction. I meant business, and it was worth every cent. It was a once-in-a-lifetime find, among the very earliest American pieced quilts. To read more about it, click here.
|"Night Flight" by Andrea Balosky, 1982|
|Bible Story by Lucy Mingo, Gee's Bend, Alabama 1979|
|a national treasure, now part of the collection at the DAR Museum|
So, these are ten of my most amazing discoveries. I've had good luck with quilts, maybe "an eye" for them, and was always intrigued by them. It's funny to think of the time when nobody knew about the quilts. It really wasn't that long ago.
Sunday, March 29, 2015
|Barbara Black spotted the book at Quilt Festival in Chicago this weekend|
|Abbey, Chris Turner's beautiful Dalmatian approved of the book|
"...the quilts clearly had
their own agenda."
Chris Turner, who recently made the stunning small-scale quilt inspired by one of the quilts in the book, posted a photo after receiving her copy in the mail. Her quilt was completed after the book was done, but it is now part of the collection and will be displayed in France. When her copy of the book arrived, Abbey the Dalmatian gave it the paws-up. It was wonderful to hear Chris's reaction. Rather than savoring it, she said she was "devouring" it. Thank you, Chris!
|Chris Turner's amazing quilt will be on display in Nantes|
|Capper's Weekly Springtime in the Rockies, detail of edge finish|
The thing that makes the book special is it's approach to quilt description. Being factual and unromantic was a purposeful choice. During my 25 years collecting and handling these quilts, I heard all kinds of interesting tales about the origins of the New York Beauty quilt design. The regionalist folklore had to make me wonder, but the quilts clearly had their own agenda.
It was just a matter of paying close attention, and that's the funny thing about quilts. They have voices of their own. If you think about it, the same premise is offered in Barbara Brackman's seminal book, "Clues in the Calico, A Guide to Identifying and Dating Antique Quilts", published in 1989, the year I bought my first quilt. Each quilt has clues, and to be a good detective it is important to look at the clues and understand what they mean. These clues are the quilt's true voice.
"New York Beauty, Quilts from the Volckening Collection" is published by Quiltmania. The book includes more than 300 pages, it is bilingual in English and French, with detailed descriptions and photos of 70 quilts made between 1850 and present day. To learn more about the book and see a preview, click here.
Saturday, March 28, 2015
I was looking around on eBay and came across this wonderful raw-edge appliqué, tied quilt from a seller in New Mexico. The quilt is 62" x 87" and is made of a nice selection of polyester double knit fabrics. Each block is a rectangle with a circle machine stitched down, and each circle is tied in the center with black yarn. From a distance, the circles look like buttons...but the button I clicked was "Buy It Now" - for under $30, I couldn't really go wrong.
Friday, March 27, 2015
Pour l'Amour du Fil with my mother and my best friend from high school, exhibiting 50 quilts from my New York Beauty Collection and launching my new book, "New York Beauty, Quilts from the Volckening Collection" (Quiltmania). We will soon be seeing much more of the 1860s quilt from Kentucky (pictured) and many others. Stay tuned...