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|News from The Alliance Volume 32, February 26, 2009|
Dear Alliance Members & Supporters, When I spoke to a quilt guild in Pennsylvania
last week, I was shocked to learn that a majority of the membership had never
heard of the Alliance
for American Quilts. One of our major missions in 2009 is to get the AAQ the
attention it deserves, and we invite you to help us.
Tell all your quilt-loving friends they'll have four
centuries of quilts at their fingertips when they visit our website. Invite
them to subscribe to this free e-newsletter: we'll be adding thousands of
amazing quilts online this year and it's here you'll learn what to look for,
Recently posted Quilters' S.O.S.- Save Our Stories interviews, including more from the Obama Quilt Project. Visit.
Still time to reserve your spot at the Appalachian Homecoming: Quilts Past and Present event in Asheville, North Carolina. Join us!
A SPECIAL INCENTIVE TO START YOUR CRAZY QUILT NOW!
| We've already received the first quilt in our Crazy
for Quilts contest (above), from Allison Aller. Allie is an accomplished and
experienced crazy quilter, indeed she won our My Quilts/Our History contest last year with a quilt in this style.
Isn't her entry in the Crazy for Quilts contest
Lucky for everybody else
who plans to enter a quilt this year, Allie isn't eligible to win any prizes
though she can donate her quilt. That's because she's joining the board of the
Alliance for American Quilts, which makes this a win-win.
Don't worry: you've still got plenty of time. The
deadline isn't until June 1, and the quilt only needs to be 16 inches square. We're sharing
this first quilt to inspire you, but don't forget that we've asked people to
interpret the crazy quilt theme as broadly as possible.
Here's the fun part: Allie has taught us that
experienced crazy quilters like to send a plastic bag full of fabric and quilt
bling -- like ribbons and lace -- to inspire newbies making their first crazy
quilt. This is called a squishy. Because she's so passionate about this, Allie
actually spent part of the weekend making up 20 squishies (shown below in progress) for readers of this
newsletter. To be eligible for one of these inspiring squishies just fill in a short 3-question survey we've created for the Crazy for Quilts contest by March 9. We're interested in seeing how you're planning to interpret the Crazy for Quilts theme. Of course you can change your mind later and none of your ideas will be shared or publicized. Click here to take the survey and register for one of these pretty packets.
To download the rules and entry forms, visit our website.
FIRST PRIVATE COLLECTION ON QUILT INDEX The Quilt Index reached a major milestone by posting a
private collection for the first time, comprised of about 80 quilts made by the
same gifted quiltmaker, Hungarian immigrant Mary Gasperik. These vivid quilts
were created between 1933 and 1967 by
an accomplished needleworker who was drawn into the
world of quilts by the magnificence of the Century of Progress Exhibition in Chicago in 1933.
The collection is exciting both because it reflects
some of the quilting design trends of the time and for its uniqueness. This
collection provides a rare chance to observe one quiltmaker's near-total output
as she advanced from a novice quilter to a prizewinning quilt designer.
Mary Gasperik died in 1969 and her quilts were passed
down to her descendents. Thankfully, they appreciated the extraordinary quality
of these quilts and the value of the story behind them. The Gasperik collection provides a model not just for adding more private collections to the
Quilt Index, but for anybody seeking to scrupulously document their family
Susan Salser, a granddaughter of Mary Gasperik,
embarked on a painstaking and years-long quest for materials, tracking down
everything from quilts and distant relatives to the period patterns that
inspired her grandmother. This resulted in an unusual wealth of detail about
how and when the various quilts were made, and Salser contributed essays or
extended research notes on 13 of the most significant quilts in the collection.
For an example, go to Salser's essay about the quilt pictured below,
Hungarian Harvest Festival, one of the family favorites and an excellent
example of Gasperik's trademark appliqué style:
follow this link then scroll down to the bottom of this full record page to find the essay.
In addition to the family's information, the Quilt
Index provides some historical and contextural background from Merikay Waldvogel, a quilt historian who consulted
on the Gasperik project. In her essay on the Gasperik quilts, Waldvogel
applauds all the supplemental resource materials posted. "The final result is
not only the most complete photographic record of one woman's quilts, but also
an invaluable resource of period photographs, newspaper accounts, and
quiltmaking ephemera," says Waldvogel.
We couldn't have asked for a better start to this new
chapter in Quilt Index history and we're extremely grateful to all those who
made it possible. Support for the Mary Gasperik Quilts was provided by The
Salser Family Foundation, with additional in-kind contributions from the Quilt
Index partners, Alliance co-founder Shelly Zegart and the project consultant Merikay Waldvogel. The nonprofit Quilt Index is run
in partnership by the Alliance,
Michigan State University Museum
and MATRIX - The Center for Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences at MSU.
Spend some time looking at this amazing collection!
Once the Index staff has had a chance to evaluate this project, they'll be
looking for more private collections to add. If you're interested or know
someone who might be, contact Mary Worrall (Worrall@msu.edu). Application materials are online at
An Alliance membership is as low as $25 per year.That's less than 50 cents a week to ensure that future generations of your own family can see the work done by incredible quiltmakers of this century and many before, including you.
Click here to JOIN TODAY!
Offer Never Expires. Our commitment is to document, preserve and share in perpetuity--but we need your support!