Saturday, July 26, 2014

another great eBay bargain

1970s polyester quilt, 46" x 59"
This neat little 1970s quilt came from an eBay seller in Illinois, and it was a great bargain-- less than $10. When I opened the box, I could tell the quilt had not been washed in a while, so I tossed it in the washing machine.

There were some light spots and stains, so I used regular laundry soap and some oxygen stain removing powder, and washed it using the delicate cycle.

Since it is tied, I didn't want to use the normal cycle and risk having the batting migrate. When the wash cycle was finished, into the dryer it went. Turned out beautifully. I just love polyester! It is wonderful to be able to throw a vintage quilt in the washing machine and not worry about it!

Blue and white quilts are always winners, but this one has some striped and plaid fabrics in addition to the solids, and also a solid gray. Even though it's very simple, I find it quite charming! 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Quilts of the Aurora Colony, Oregon

detail of Emma Wagner Giesy's quilt, c. 1850s, Aurora, Oregon
Mom and I spent most of the day in Aurora, Oregon today. We went to the Old Aurora Colony Museum-- serendipitous after hearing Mary Bywater Cross speak yesterday at the Washington County Museum about the quilt made by Emma Wagner Giesy in the 1850s, which was on display at the museum.

Emma Wagner Giesy's quilt, c. 1850s, made of wool, at the museum
There were several quilts and textiles on display, in addition to other artifacts such as band instruments. It's a neat place! Here are a few pictures.

two wool quilts on display at the museum
wool coverlets on display at the museum
barn raising log cabin, backdrop for the video lounge at the museum
bed quilt in the upstairs room of one of the houses
more quilts and a hooked rug
the rug was a neat design
two more quilts in the bedroom
a sweet little doll quilt
another doll quilt
There is a great little book about Aurora and its tradition of quilts, written by Jane Kirkpatrick, available at the museum gift shop along with several other books.

If you're in the area or visiting, it's worth the time to go visit. For more information about the Old Aurora Colony Museum and the Aurora colony, click here

The Volckening Collection on Facebook

I created a Facebook page for my collection. It is especially helpful for anyone who is interested in the quilts, but would rather not see random posts about my cat, Lulu, or links to music videos such as this one. (LOL!)

Pieced Quilt, c. 1800, Rhode Island
There are pictures of several quilts in a few groups: New York Beauty, 1970s Quilts, and 1850 and Earlier.

Pieced quilt, c. 1865, United States
Pieced Quilt, c. 1970, Oregon
I will share news and information about events on the new page, as well as my personal home page. There will be some new magazine articles coming soon, a few events, exhibitions, and of course, my upcoming book. To visit The Volckening Collection Facebook page, click here.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Doll Quilts, found in Hillsboro, Oregon

doll quilt, c. 1970, 16" x 19 & 1/2"
Today, Mom and I went to the Washington County Museum to hear Mary Bywater Cross present a lecture, and afterwards we checked out a couple of the antique shops down the block from the museum.

I found two charming little doll quilts, made by a local woman whose name I have not received yet. The owner of the shop is going to see if he can retrieve it. The first of the two quilts is a small, string-pieced gem, only 16 inches x 19 & 1/2 inches!

The second quilt is also c. 1970s, 27 inches square, and is a colorful little one-patch with diagonal rows of solid colors. Charming!

I didn't expect to find anything today, but was happy to score these two little gems. Even though they aren't very old, they are cheerful and uncommonly small. Something to crow about, for sure!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

places to go

Columbia River Gorge
This year, Mom came for her three-week-long visit with a list of places she wanted to go and things she wanted to do, plus two friends from Maine. Our friends stayed for two weeks and returned home yesterday. Here are just a few of the places we went and things we saw together.

Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show 
International Rose Test Garden
Japanese Garden
Cannon Beach 
Tillamook Creamery 

McMenamin's Kennedy School 
Beaverton Bakery - Mom likes Butter Crisps for breakfast!
Chinese Garden
Mom is here until next week, so we're still running around. She's made another list of things she wants to do while she's still here. That's why I haven't been blogging much this month. We have had fun, but I will soon be ready to retreat to a very secluded place for at least a week-- the break I really needed after spending two months writing my book.  

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Stunning! Barbara Shapel at Latimer Quilt & Textile Center

"Autumn Beauty" (front) by Barbara Shapel
The first time I saw the work of contemporary fiber artist Barbara Shapel, one of her creations was hanging at the Northwest Quilting Expo with a Best of Show ribbon on it. The funny thing was, the quilt was displayed backwards, and we were all looking at the back side of the quilt rather than the front-- but that is how extraordinary Shapel's work is. The backs of the quilts are as stunning as the fronts.

Shapel is currently exhibiting at Latimer Quilt and Textile Center until September 7th, 2014, and the exhibit is a must-see! I went with my mother, and Robin and Bill Carter, our friends from Maine. All of us were absolutely flabbergasted by Shapel's gorgeous creations.

More information about Barbara Shapel and her exquisite fiber art work may be found on her web site: Latimer Quilt & Textile Center is located at 2105 Wilson River Loop Road in Tillamook. The center is open most days, and you may find more information on their web site- click here.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Oregon July

My quilt, "Oregon July" was part of the ManLand special exhibit at Sisters
The 39th Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show was a huge success, and after missing last year's show, I was delighted to be back. This year, I noticed something very intriguing about the quilts in the show. Modern Quilting had arrived, unmistakably!

I was happy to be part of it in my own way. My quilt, "Oregon July" was in the ManLand special exhibit of mens' quilts, and I conceived it as a work of modern art, its beauty materializing in an unexpected and unpredictable way. I'm sure most people walked by without discovering what was so interesting about the quilt, and I was amused by that. You have to work to figure it out, and that was fully intended.

The quilt is about visiting Oregon for the first time in July, 1998, and being completely undone by all the bright colors and bigness of the landscape. It is also about falling in love with Oregon and discovering its secret beauty. One of the things I love about the quilt is the gentle way it conveys its message. It doesn't have to yell, "I'm art!" or "I'm a Modern quilt!" from the hilltops. Its hidden beauty must be discovered, just like that of Oregon.

"Oregon July" reverse view - quilted by Jolene Knight
From the front, the quilt is big patchwork, and it looks like many of the pieced quilt backs seen today. The patchwork represents the big, bold Oregon landscape. If you pause and look at it long enough, you'll realize there's something unusual about the quilting design. It is not edge-to-edge, computer guided, quilting-- it is varied, hand-guided, free-motion quilting.

The solid green back reveals the quilt's secret, a landscape drawing of Oregon with Mt. Hood, Trillium Lake, the reflection of Mt. Hood in the lake, a fish jumping from the water, foliage, grass, a tree, a tree stump, and a blazing sun spiraling above the terrain. Jolene Knight of Good Knight Quilts, a native Oregonian who is relatively new at long-arm quilting, created the drawing, providing a stunning finish for the quilt.

Jolene is a member of Portland Modern Quilt Guild and the Northwest Quilters, and we saw each other at one of the meetings as the deadline for Sisters was approaching. The long-arm quilter I  worked with previously had been hospitalized with chronic pain, and the last thing she needed to worry about was my quilt, so I asked Jolene if she could do it. She was ready.

Not long after the meeting, I drove to bring Jolene the top, which was still in a few pieces, and started to wonder if we could do something special with it. I wanted the quilt to be about falling in love with Oregon, and I thought it would be amazing if she could draw a free-motion landscape over the entire quilt. We talked about it for a long time, and she really got it. Creatively and technically, it was something new for her, but she was up for the challenge and very inspired by the idea.

The quilt was done in about a week, and Jolene brought it to the Portland Modern Quilt Guild meeting the night I was doing a presentation about 1970s quilts. When I saw what she had done, it brought tears to my eyes. It was even better than I'd ever imagined, but at the same time, exactly what I'd hoped it would be. The way Jolene rose to the challenge was inspiring, as was the end result.

Niagara Park, where we stopped for lunch on the way to and from Sisters
So, that is the story of Oregon July, my entry in the 39th Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. I hope to exhibit the quilt again in the future, and maybe have the front and back visible at the same time. Many thanks to Jolene for a job well done, and to all the volunteers in Sisters for another tremendous event. Mom loved being there, and so did our friends Bill and Robin Carter from Maine. On the way to and from Sisters, we stopped at Niagara Park, one of those places where you can discover the remarkable hidden beauty of Oregon.