Welcome to the Saturday Morning Quilt Break! I know the weather can vary wildly, or sometimes not at all, with the change in seasons, and here in Colorado it feels as if the seasons are changing right on cue. The past week was warm and dry, but starting today things are getting cooler, cloudier and wetter—a definite return of Quilting Weather.
Today, let’s take a look at some stories about or relating to quilts that have been in the news lately; click on the links in each paragraph to read more.
Earlier this month, “Sewing with Nancy” host and sewing industry icon Nancy Zieman announced her retirement in a blog post, saying that the cancer she was initially diagnosed with in 2015 has returned and metastasized, and is considered untreatable by her doctors. “It was a devastating day, realizing that my life and my career, as I had known it, would end,” she wrote. Within a few hours after her blog post was first shared on social media, her website crashed due to the high traffic but was restored later in the day. All of us here send Nancy and her family our love and support and hope for the best possible outcome. Click here to read Nancy’s message and leave her a comment if you wish.
Barn quilts are not only getting more popular, they’re starting to get a little competitive. The town of Hopkins, Missouri, has dubbed itself “Barn Quilt City, U.S.A.” and just hosted its third annual Barn Quilt City Festival to help promote its trail of more than 100 painted quilt designs hung on buildings throughout the area.
Meanwhile, the makers of what’s being touted as Oklahoma’s Largest Barn Quilt are looking for a home for their creation. The 20-by-20-foot painted barn quilt is composed of 56 2-foot blocks surrounding a center medallion.
With International Quilt Market and Quilt Festival approaching in late October and early November, the quilt industry’s focus is firmly on Houston at this time of year. The George R. Brown Convention Center, where both events are held, served as a shelter in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, hosting up to 10,000 evacuees at one point. This past week the hurricane shelter closed and the remaining evacuees have been relocated to other long-term shelters.
Houston quilter Carolyn Bennett was featured in a local news story about hurricane victims and what they found when they were allowed to return to their flood-ravaged homes. Bennett managed to save three quilts out of the hundreds she’s made (and mostly given away) before she and her husband evacuated.
She mourned the loss of several of the hundreds of quilts she’s crafted over the years, for relatives and charities and herself. Her niece said every November Bennett drags family members to Houston’s big quilt show. It’s clearly not just a hobby, but part of her identity and the way she cares for others.
When the water started covering the neighborhood’s roads, she and her husband, David, prepared to evacuate.
“I got as many quilts as David would let me take,” she said, hoisting a clear plastic bag with three queen-sized comforters. Like so much else, the other quilts at her home were lost to Harvey.
The city of Paducah, Kentucky—home of the National Quilt Museum and American Quilter’s Society—sits at the confluence of the Ohio and Tennessee rivers and has been protected by a floodwall since being devastated by a 1937 flood. For the first time a mural depicting a quilt, Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry’s Corona II: Solar Eclipse, has been added to the floodwall. The mural was painted by artist Char Downs onto parachute material and applied to the floodwall “like wallpaper.”
A South Dakota man has been left with more questions than answers after learning of a World War II-era quilt that contains the embroidered signatures of female relatives and other women of his community he knew when he was growing up. He has a theory that the quilt was made for his father but was never sent to him, as he was serving overseas in the 109th Engineer Battalion during the war. “I just wish I had known about it 10 years ago,” he said. “There were still some alive then who could have answered the question.”
New Zealand doctor Sanet Cloete has a passion for repurposed textiles, turning men’s ties into skirts, her husband’s wool trousers into patchwork, and silk and velvet scraps into a hand-embroidered crazy bed quilt. A general practitioner by day, Cloete is a prolific artist in her free time. “There is very little time for negative thoughts while quilting or sewing — instead fabric, colour, cutting, piecing, arranging and rearranging fills the space, and National Radio keeps me company,” she says. Sounds pretty familiar, doesn’t it? Click the link to see some of the things she’s made.
Have you entered for your chance to win Fabric for Life from Keepsake Quilting today? If not, don’t wait any longer! And be sure to do it again tomorrow and every day until December 31, 2017. One lucky winner will win 52 yards of fabric every year for 20 years; other prizes include a Bernina sewing machine and a Reliable iron. Click here to enter for your chance to win, and bookmark the webpage to revisit every day for the rest of the year. Contest open to U.S. and Canadian residents (void in Quebec).
Wishing you a productive week,