Thursday, August 30, 2012

wonderful old quilts ~ yuba city, ca

I had a great time with the
Yuba-Sutter Valley (CA) Quilt Guild

I gave a talk at their meeting last night
and this morning I appraised some the members' quilts.

Look at just a few photos of what I was able to see...
I love my job!

A rare "Thistle" applique quilt, dated 1850

detail below

Details of an highly embroidered Crazy Quilt, circa 1890

Late 19th century Crazy Quilt
Boy, thsi woman LOVED to embroider...
~~ details ~~

Unnamed 19th century applique quilt

Does anyone know this design?
~ detail below ~

A large section of a huge vintage quilt (age unknown)
made in India

~ Detail of an entirely hand made quilt from India ~

What fun...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

quilts galore!

Calling All Quilt Lovers!

We're packing our bags and leaving for the Pacific Northwest!
Check out all the Super QUILT ACTIVITIES in the Seattle area!  

Coming Right Up...

World Premiere!

August 4 - October 28, 2012
Whatcom Museum ~ Bellingham, Washington

 American Quilts: The Democratic Art, 1780-2007 by Robert Shaw

Based on Robert Shaw's 2009 acclaimed book and
curated by Robert Shaw and Julie Silber

Bob and I have put together
more than thirty of America's finest quilts,
each of them made between 1800 and 2005.

  This extraordinary collection of textiles encompasses a full range of
American quilts and makes a powerful statement for the quilt
as a major American art form.

I'll be giving an illustrated lecture at 3pm 
on opening day, August 4th.
There will be a reception following from 5-7pm.

Jean and I went to Bellingham recently to prepare for the Exhibition.
While there, looking at the space we came up with an idea!

"How about a one-day-only, first rate, antique quilt store at the museum!"

Come visit our POP-UP Store
On August 5th ~ 10am to 5pm.

We, "The Quilt Complex" will be joined by
Jane Lury and David Hupert, "Labors of Love,"
coming all the way from New York!
Local dealer Janice Gessin will be there too, all of us with
lots of antique quilts ~ ranging from the very rarest to the most affordable.

DON’T MISS this opportunity to enjoy some fantastic Antique Quilts!

 ONE DAY Quilt Market: August 5, 2012, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m 
Antique Quilts for Sale  

Leaving Bellingham and driving back to the Seattle airport, we stopped in
Bellevue to see the to see the Bellevue Arts Museum show of
“African-American” quilts.
While not entirely convinced of their provenance
as such, we were stunned by the visual impact of so many of them.
    African American Quilts from the Collection of Corrine Riley
    June 14 - October 7, 2012
    Bellevue Museum of Art ~ Bellevue Washington

    Come to the Opening of our Exhibition in Bellingham 
    on August 4, stay for the One-Day QUILT MARKET on 
    August 5 ~ then stop by the Bellevue Show and have 
    one fabulous quilt weekend!!


    Thursday, January 5, 2012

    Come Cruise With Us!


    You Are Invited!

    We're going on a wonderful, fun, and informative trip!

    A Textile-Related CRUISE/TOUR
    to the Mediterranean...

    Join me on one of Deb Roberts'

    Not only will we sail, and stop in some of the most beautiful places on Earth,
    we textile lovers will have a rare chance to learn and share
    ... on-board... and off!

    Deb will do her terrific talk on the Indian Chintz trade,
    enriching and deepening our experience of being in that part of the world!

    I will do a few talks on board, with Power Point illustrations
    as well as a few REAL quilts ~ some rare beauties!

    I’ll also be offering several informal “workshops” on topics relating to the trip:
    We’ll talk about early quilts in America ~ and their oft-ignored European roots.

    We can all share what we know about this, or just listen in…

    This is going to be GREAT ... Won't You Join Us?

    If you sign up before January 31, 2012, you will get a

    Detail: Crazy Quilt, circa 1885

    Detail: Baltimore Album Quilt, circa 1850

    Detail: Baltimore Album Quilt, Circa 1845


    Wednesday, June 29, 2011

    MORE ... Making It Her "OWN" ...

    MORE  ...
    "Slight" Variations

    My last post was
     about women who found various ways to
    make traditional quilts "their own..."

    Again, in this post, I am not talking about
    outrageously personal and unique quilts, like the one below ~
    a REALLY rare 20th century pictorial "Pine Burr" quilt

    (click on photo for more on this quilt)

    We will get to more of those "Super Mavericks" in later blogs ~ Promise!

    In this post let's look at the more subtle ways some quilt makers
    personalized their quilts, distinguishing otherwise conventional designs
     into more memorable ones.
    Slight variations or unexpected choices in
    • Color 
    • Scale (extra large or extra small) 
    • Sets or borders 
    • Quilting
    •  Placement
    can make a big impact on the final look.

    Check out the following quilts with unusual sets or borders:
    "Flower Basket" 
    Circa 1880, Michigan

    (click on photos for more on this quilt)
    "Peppers" applique with vining Grapes borders
     Circa 1870

    (click on images for more on this quilt)
    "Oak Leaf and Reel"
    Circa 1880
    Geese in Flight borders and "Distelfink" intersections

    We'll keep exploring this way of looking at
    cool variations of traditional quilt designs....  Stay Tuned!

    Friday, June 17, 2011

    Making It Her "OWN" ...

    "Slight" Variations

    I have been thinking about women who made traditional quilts "their own"
    ~ and how the various ways they did that...

    I am not talking about completely unique
    or outrageously "maverick" quilts here, like this one:

    No, I am thinking about the more subtle ways 
    in which a woman distinguished her otherwise traditional quilt.

    It might be a small detail like adding a second handle to a traditional Flower Basket.

    Or the addition of an unexpected element to a traditional pattern
    as in this simple Double Irish Chain
    with the unexpected circle and half-circles borders

    We'll add more examples of these charming "slight variations" soon.
    Stay tuned!

    Sunday, May 8, 2011

    The "CIRCUS" ... and Other Crazy Quilts

    Say "Antique CRAZY QUILT" to most folks,
    and they envision the very "fancy" type made at the end of 19th Century.
    You know the ones...

    ~ Victorian Kaleidoscopes ~
    made with lush and sparkling silks, velvets, taffetas, and brocades.

    Colorful, shattered, abstract compositions of elegant cloth and ribbon,
    embellished, surrounded, and sometimes almost smothered
    by fancy hand embroidery and other wonderfully inventive surface decorations.

    But not all Crazy Quilts were of this so-called "High Style."

    Crazy quilts do not have to have surface embellishment, or any particular colors,
    or be finished with any special edgings.

    Crazy quilts do not have not be made of silks and velvets;
    many women made theirs out of wools or cottons.

    Here is one of our favorite examples of a COTTON Crazy Quilt;
    it was made around 1890.

    We have had it in our personal collection since the 1970s.
    Now it is for sale...

    We call this our "CIRCUS CRAZY" ~ for obvious reasons:
    Five prominent center blocks have images related to the Big Top!

    Circuses traveled the country in the last part of the 19th century,
    and captured the attention of the American people,
    so of course we see them represented in quilts.

    The free-wheeling, playful woman who created this wonder organized her quilt
    with a strong, colorful center in each of her 49 blocks.

    The center of each block is a large piece of "cretonne," a heavy cotton
    fabric commonly used for upholstery or drapes, and printed with scenes and figures.

    Not all of the images in the centers are Circus-related, but those do dominate.

    All of the "pictures" have wonderful stories to tell.

    Have fun reading !

    To see more photos of the "Circus Crazy Quilt," click here,
    or you can go to: TQC Quilts for Sale to see all the quilts we have for sale.

    Saturday, March 5, 2011

    Jean Ray Laury

    I am RE-PUBLISHING this post from December of 2009 
    in honor of 

    Jean Ray Laury 
    one of my favorite people in the world.

    Jean died last Wednesday, March 2, 2011.

    We are all the better for Jean having been here.

    I HEART Jean Ray Laury...

    Jean and I have known each other for a long, long time. Way further back than the top photo here, taken about 15 years ago, on one of my visits to Jean and Frank's home.
         Circa 1994  
    outside of Jean Ray's home in Clovis, CA
    My sweatshirt (in Hebrew) translates to "Mendocino" (my home town)

    At the annual meeting of AQSG Oct. 2009, San Jose, CA.
    Jean was the Keynote Speaker
    (What a wonderful treat to get in a little visit...)

    The late, legendary textile dealer, Cora Ginsburg, once said this to some folks who were complaining about how they looked in a photograph,
    "Enjoy it, my Dears. Fifteen years from now, you will look back at this shot think you looked FABULOUS!"

    Tempus, she definitely fugits...

    To learn more about Jean Ray, and her work, please visit:

    Jean's obituary:

    Saturday, December 11, 2010

    Red & Green Quilts ... 'Tis the Season!

    * We're Celebrating *
    With some Red and Green BEAUTIES!

    For your viewing pleasure, we offer here
    ~ A Small Gallery ~
    A Few of the Antique Quilts We're Offering This Year.

    www.The Quilt
    (click here to get to our website)

    Starting with the Oldest...
    An Early "Fleur de Lys" Applique

    Here the "Green" is actually a Teal, and some might put it into the "blue" category.

    We have included it anyway, because it fits the Holiday Mood!

    A Spectacular Early "Rose" Quilt Top

    We always wonder, of course, why some women did not complete their quilts.
    So many things could explain it ... a broken engagement, illness or death, or something less dramatic. Maybe she loved applique but wasn't so keen on quilting, and her favorite quilter moved away?
    "You Don't See Quilts Like This Every Day..."

    A most unusual and personal quilt, a celebration of the Grape!
    A marvelous "Wreath of Grapes" ~ not to be confused with "Grapes of Wreath" !
    A Bit Less Formal ...

    Red, Green, and White quilts appear about 1840 in America.

    They were quite the vogue mid-century (1840s - 1860s), but they continued to be favored throughout the 19th century.

    This one, which we call "Christmas Star," dates to about the 1880's. The applique design is simpler than in some of the early quilts, but this qt maker did not hold back on her elaborate hand quilting!

    A Folk-y Example of a Classic Applique Quilt Design

    We found this circa 1890 quilt in Pennsylvania, where it was likely made by a woman of German ancestry.

    The exuberant color and densely placed color typifies what is often called the "Dutchy" aesthetic.
    (Pennsylvania Germans were commonly known as the "Dutch," a word confused with the German word for "German" ~ "Deutsch.")

    from Our Family to Yours !