October 1, 2014

American Quilt Study Group Seminar 2014 (Part 2)

Two hundred and forty-two members of the American Quilt Study Group (AQSG) met in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, September 10-14 to attend their annual Seminar.  This event provides attendees with a variety of activities including the presentation of original research papers, Study Centers on diverse quilt-related topics, tours to local places of interest, roundtable discussions, poster board viewings of research in progress, silent and live quilt auctions, on-site quilt vendor showrooms, member book sales, and a number of good meals.  Best of all is the opportunity to meet and network with people who share a common interest in quilts, quilt history, textiles, social and regional history, women's studies, and related topics.

Opening night quilt-turning event.  All photographs by Lynda Salter Chenoweth.
Our last post described a trip to the Cedarburg Woolen Mill and Textiles Museum.  Other tours were offered as well.  Some attendees visited the Milwaukee County Historical Center, the Pabst Mansion, the Milwaukee Public Museum, the Kneeland-Walker House in Wauwatosa, and the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts in Cedarburg.  The Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts had on display quilts, ephemera, and personal items associated with Mary McElwain and her widely-known quilt shop in Walworth, Wisconsin.  Insight into Mary's life and her impact on quilting in the mid-20th century was provided by Pat L. Nickols.
Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts, Cedarburg, Wisconsin.  Interior of the restored
historic barn than houses the Museum's collections.
Study Centers at Seminar offer those attending a chance to participate in a number of topic-related groups concentrating on a specific subject.  This year's Study Center topics covered comforters, Seminole piecing traditions, mourning and "lost cause" quilts, the Quilt Index and its use, drawing and analyzing stitching patterns, African indigo resist dyeing, manufactured bias tape and its effect on quilts and other needlework in the first half of the 20th century, 19th century New York quilt patterns, American hero quilts and the International Quilt Study Center and Museum's World Quilts web site as a source of inspiration for quilt historians and quilt makers.
Detail of an 1830s New England comforter featured during a Study Center on New England
comforters conducted by Lorie Chase.  Chintz, patchwork-printed fabric (also known
 as "cheater cloth") with elaborate wool ties.
The main attraction of Seminar each year is the presentation of original research papers.  This year's papers were "Knockers, Pickers, Movers and Shakers: Quilt Dealers in America, 1970-2000" presented by Nancy Curry Bavor; "Textiles and Clothing of the Civil War: A Portrait for Understanding" presented by Beverly Gordon; "Tifaifai in Tahiti: Embracing Change" presented by Joyce D. Hammond; "'One Hundred Good Wishes Quilts': Expressions of Cross-Cultural Communication" presented by Marin Hanson; "Weft-Loop Woven Counterpanes in the New Republic: The Re-discovery of a Textile Legacy" presented by Laurel Horton; and, "Quilt Documentation Projects 1980-1989: Exploring the Roots of a National Phenomenon" presented by Christine Humphrey.
This year's research papers and Study Centers demonstrate the breadth and diversity of topics annually addressed at Seminar.  There is definitely something of interest for everyone attending.
When not participating in scheduled activities, Seminar attendees have a chance to browse through several high-quality vendor booths where antique quilts can be viewed, discussed, and purchased.  The vendors display quilt ephemera as well as quilts, providing a large variety of items to entice collectors. 
Just two of several vendor areas at Seminar this year.
One of the vendor areas, belonging to AQSG member Christine Bowman of Evanston, Illinois, featured a Quaker quilt from the late 1840s.  This star-pattern quilt will be the subject of our next (and last) post about AQSG Seminar this year.  It is really special.
If you are not a member of AQSG and would like to join all of us next year in Indianapolis, please go to our web site at www.AmericanQuiltStudyGroup.org and become a member.  We'd love to meet you and share the information, friendships, and experience that Seminar provides.
(c) Lynda Salter Chenoweth and Mary Holton Robare, 2014.



1 comment:

  1. Gorgeous. Thank you for sharing these lovely quilts and for promoting AQSG membership.