Study Centers

Study Centers are Optional Events and are an additional $50 apiece

Chintz Extraordinaire

Donna L. Kooistra
Chris Moline

Thursday 9am

Donna Kooistra and Chris Moline promise us a “Chintz Program Extraordinaire” - with this Study Center of the history of chintz, its sources, print styles, effects on the world economy, uses in quilts, clothing, and home decor as well as information pertaining to the market today. There will be many examples of chintz quilts for your viewing pleasure.

What WAS She Thinking?

Lorie Chase

Thursday 9am

From yard sales to university archives one can find evidence of the resources available locally to guide twentieth century quiltmakers. Women who lacked a pervasive quiltmaking culture, had limited materials available, or who lived in remote rural villages, nevertheless, made quilts. In small groups we will explore a quilt-related object and research materials for each of a dozen case studies. Then we will discuss our findings as a whole group and develop the community contexts in which quilts were made. Examples from a variety of real settings will include the work of a home economics teacher, a French Canadian immigrant factory worker, a logging horse driver’s wife, farmers, a quilt magazine editor, seamstresses, rugmakers, church charity, quilting teacher, Cooperative Extension, and others. This exercise will help us to better answer the persistent question, “What WAS She Thinking.”

The Fabulous World of Feedsacks

Barbara Garrett

Friday 2pm

We will cover the history, development, and decline of these marvelous fabrics and how they were used both in quiltmaking and in everyday life.   Included in the presentation will be feedsacks from my collection, vintage items made from cloth bags, vintage feedsack quilts and tops, and my own contemporary feedsack quilts.   Attendees will hopefully develop an understanding of and appreciation for this historic fabric and it’s place in quilt history and will hear remembrances that people have shared regarding how they acquired and/or used feedsacks, both as children and as adults.

Quilts and Color

Gerald Roy

Thursday 2pm, Friday 9am

For a little over three months in 2014 the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston hosted an extraordinary exhibit of fifty eight quilts from the Paul Pilgrim and Gerald Roy collection. The exhibit “Quilts and Color” presented evidence of the use of Interaction of Color in 19th century quilts well before the Modern Art Movement in the world of Fine Art. Gerald will present his sold-out power-point presentation on this spectacular exhibit.

Truth or Myth? Finding Historic Fabrics in Quilts 1640-1860

Rabbit Susan Goody

Friday 9am, Friday 2pm

We often study quilts without considering the fabric that makes them and how other textiles influenced them. What changes occurred from 1690-1790 that allowed more textiles to become available? What fabrics were available in the first half of the 19th century and where did they come from? How can you tell if a fabric is handwoven? Does the width of the fabric mean anything? This study center will provide an overview of early textiles and answer these and many other questions. Examination of historic textiles is included.

Quilt as You Go is Older than You Think – Potholder Quilts and Other Wonders

Pamela Weeks

Sunday 2pm

Potholder quilts, those finished block by block, are just one form of quilt as you go. The technique of finishing large quilts in smaller sections is more than 150 years old. This study center will present an inventory of these methods and early examples will be shown. Handouts will include a bibliography and a dictionary of techniques. Please bring any examples you have of quilts made in sections and joined.

Pillowcases, Privy Bags and Potholders: Small Patchwork Treasures of Southeastern Pennsylvania

Ann Hermes

Thursday 2pm

German speaking immigrants to Pennsylvania are well known for making colorful quilts, starting around the mid-19th century. In addition to quilts, the PA Germans of Southeastern Pennsylvania made a variety of small patchwork items, including pillowcases, storage bags (sometimes called privy bags) and pot holders. The history and evolution of the patchwork pillowcase will be presented followed by hands-on viewing of many examples of these rare textiles.  Participants are welcome to bring items for show and tell.

North Country Comforters

Hallie Bond

Friday 2pm

Too often we think of comforters (tied quilts) as second best bedcovers, hastily put together without the attention to design one often sees in quilts.  We kept a special lookout for comforters during the documentation phase of the Northern New York Quilt Study, and you may be surprised, and certainly will be delighted, with what we found. We looked at comforters right up to the present day with the perspectives of a historian and a folklorist.  Yes, some told stories of a hardscrabble existence in a chilly clime with little time for aesthetic considerations, but other comforters were pieced with just as much care and art as quilts.  These women decided to tie instead of quilt for practical reasons, but needed, and created, just as much color and exuberant design as other women.

Covering the Bed: A Look at the Variety of Textiles used in the 19th Century

Sharon Waddell

Sunday 2pm

Quilts were but one type of textile found in the bed chambers during the 19th century. In this study center we will examine some of the other many textiles used to cover the bed to include sheets, blankets, counterpanes, coverlets, bed rugs, and bed upholstery. The different styles of coverlets will be covered. We will also discuss what styles of bed coverings were popular when and where. There will be a presentation, handout, and hands-on bed turning examining the various types of bed textiles.

Tracing the History of the Hexagon in Quilts

Dana Balsamo

Thursday 2pm, Friday 9am

Hexagon quilts are not just a current fad.  This study center will explore the early roots of the hexagon shape in quilts from the late 1700s to today, from England and America.  This complex shape creates an amazing variation of patterns that still fascinate.  While many of us associate hexagons with the Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilt, we’ll explore many different Mosaic patterns, construction techniques, fabrics, and finishing techniques through a brief Power Point presentation and lecture.  Enjoy a quilt turning of over 20 examples from Dana’s collection including quilts, tops, and blocks, in addition to a displayed 4 piece Bed Suite of hexagons (fabrics c1830, finished c1920) with the objective to discuss the differences and similarities through the eras.  Finally, we will take a look at today’s English Paper Piecing popularity and modern conveniences that encourage today’s quilters to take the hexagon quilt challenge.

Participants are encouraged to bring one example to share.

Mid-Century Mid-Atlantic Friendship Quilts

Sandra Starley

Friday 9am

Learn about regional trends in the early development of signature (or name inscribed) quilts as well as differences and similarities between signature quilts created by different ethnic and religious groups. The focus will be on quilts from 1840-60 mainly from Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey (New York and Maryland too), including Pennsylvania German fraktur quilts and Quaker quilts. We will also explore methods of inscribing names including stamps, stencils, and hand signing. We will observe ink drawn, decorative signatures and drawings and discuss the phenomena of professionally signed or paid scrivener quilts.  You’ll be able to closely examine a number of beautiful and historically significant signature quilts. Participants are encouraged to bring a name inscribed quilt for group discussion.