Only one of these rare quilts has been on public display in the past thirty years. “Workt by Hand”: Hidden Labor and Historical Quilts will be on view in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art from March 15 through September 15, 2013. Continue reading
Women’s Rights National Historical Park Superintendent Tammy Duchesne has announced that replacement cushions for the “recycled pews” in the Wesleyan Chapel have been installed. “We are pleased with the new cushions. When we installed the wooden pews in July, we had plans to finish them with cushions so they would resemble the originals,” said Duchesne.
Park Historian Anne Derousie explained more, “The pews that are now in the Wesleyan Chapel were originally built in 1871 for the First Congregational Church of Seneca Falls, a descendant church of the Wesleyan Chapel. Nine of these pews were purchased by the Park in June, along with a set of pew cushions that were very worn.” These worn cushions were a valuable resource and were used to determine the size, color, and construction of the replacement cushions.
Public programs in the Wesleyan Chapel are offered daily at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm. “Everyone is invited to experience the new cushions for themselves and join us for one or all of our ranger programs,” added Duchesne. The Wesleyan Chapel is the site of the First Women’s Rights Convention held July 19 and 20, 1848 and is the centerpiece of Women’s Rights National Historical Park.
For more information visit their website at
In this series, invited scholars will analyze American values and ideals to enhance our experience and understanding of our world. A painting or school of painters, or a spinning wheel or farm kitchen tools will serve as touchstones for the series. Continue reading
Fort Ticonderoga will host its Third Annual “Material Matters: It’s in the Details” the weekend of January 26 and 27, 2013. This weekend event focuses on the material culture of the 18th century and is intended for collectors, re-enactors, and people with a general interest in learning more about objects of the 18th century and what they can tell us about history. “Material Matters” takes place in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center at Fort Ticonderoga and is open by pre-registration only. Continue reading
Join the Adirondack Museum for the Adirondack Fabric and Fiber Arts Festival on Saturday, September 15, 2012. Celebrate all things fiber during this annual event with fabulous and unique fabrics, regional artists, spinning, weaving, quilting, knitting, knotting and more.
Demonstrations throughout the weekend include: quilting with the Adirondack Regional Textile Artists association, mixed media with Louisa Woodworth and Julie Branch, recycled fiber items with Maria Wulf, Northern Needles quilting demonstration and displays, and wool arts demonstrations with The Serendipity Spinners. Aaron Bush, Jane Mackintosh, and Carol Wilson demonstrate a variety of knitting techniques and will also lead a knit-in for visitors who bring a project.
A special display, “Upcycling Fabric: Ideas from the Past” provides a chance for visitors to talk with Curator Hallie Bond and discover the frugality and creativity of our forebears.
The Festival will also include a vendor market where you can shop for locally made fabric and fiber treasures. Vendors for this year’s Festival include: Baskets by Linda, Keller Country, Liberty Fibers, Heirlooms, Cat in the Window Weaving, Icy Acres, Patridge Run Farm, Kalieidoscope Kolors, Ewe’ll Love the Weather, Color My Loom, Nana Joanne, Kirbside Gardens, 2nd Time Around, The Silver Studio, Harvest Herb Company, Adirondack Handmade, Adirondack Doll Co.
and Laura’s Quality Knits.
Singer and songwriter, Peggy Lynn, will provide music throughout the day.
The favorite quilt of the more than 1,000 visitors to the show hosted by three early 19th century historic sites in Sackets Harbor, a New York State 1812 Heritage Community, was made by nine of the living history interpreters at Upper Canada Village, Morrisburg, Ontario.
Janice Toonders, who demonstrates spinning and weaving at the Village, designed the quilt using an Irish chain pattern. Toonders, Martina Bols, Linda Brown, Mary Casselman, Christine Christie, Ivah Malkin, Marjorie Munroe, Judy Neville, and Sharon Shaver used wool cloth, silk thread and cotton fabrics to fashion symbols from the 1812 time period for the colorful pictorial. Sharon Shaver, the quilting demonstrator at Upper Canada Village, added the binding and quilting.
“British Major Sir Isaac Brock is front and center. Lieutenant General Sir George Prevost is aside as he navigates his horse home in shame for not advancing his troops at Plattsburgh. We have the First Nation’s Confederacy leader Tecumseh and Joseph Brant, the Mohawk Chief who was working with the British to create a nation in the west,” Toonders explains.
The Upper Canada Village quilters also included the sloop “Wolf” that fought in one of the Battles of Sackett’s Harbour. A bear, a moose, a First Nation’s symbol, a British sailor and Laura Secord who notified the British of a U.S. attack are also among the quilt’s storytelling images.
Quilts from four Canadian provinces made up approximately 30 percent of the show’s quilts.
The show’s second Viewer’s Choice winner is the “Underhill Tree of Life Whole-Cloth Quilt” made by Jill C. Meszaros of Cambridge Springs, PA, 25 miles south of Erie and the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Pennsylvania. The all-blue quilt is intricately quilted by hand with a dark blue thread.
Meszaros says, “I chose to create a whole-cloth quilt to honor my family heritage and the history of quilting and our nation. My fourth great-grandfather, Major David Underhill traveled to Huron County, Ohio, in 1810. In 1812 he reacted to the news that the British and Indians were landing only to learn they were really soldiers in Hull’s army. As I quilted, my husband was away and I imagined what it would have been like in 1812 to wait for him to come home.”
Meszaros, a stay-at-home mother of six, fashioned her design after the Clarke Family Quilt in the book “Massachusetts Quilts” and used fruit, floral and foliate motifs inspired by “Quilts-Masterworks from the American Folk Art Museum.” The quilt’s batting is wool, typical of the 1812 time. She says, “The last stitch went in the I day I shipped the quilt to the show.”
Show manager Lynette Lundy-Beck notes, “This show inspired people to learn more about the War of 1812, its battles, the soldiers and their loved ones, and about the quilters’ own families. This show is indeed a storytelling event that interprets the travel themes for the Great Lakes Seaway Trail in many interesting and personal ways, and that is what makes this quilt show unique among quilt shows and tourism showcases.”
Much of the war was fought along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, a National Scenic Byway in the U.S. The 518-mile leisure driving route parallels the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Niagara River, and Lake Erie. Quilting is just one of many travel themes for the byway.
In the mid-19th century, New York State officials began to collect Iroquois material culture, intending to preserve remnants of what they saw as a vanishing race. At the same time, Iroquois women were discovering that their beadwork was appealing to the fashionable Victorian women flocking to Niagara Falls and Saratoga Springs on the Grand Tour of America.
This multimedia presentation by Dr. Deborah Holler traces the historic development of Iroquois beadwork and costume, which came to define the public image of “Indian-ness” around the world. Images are drawn from the collections of the Lewis Henry Morgan and Rochester museums, as well as private collections. These images also illuminate the contributions of the Iroquois to the textile arts, as well as the complex cultural exchange that defined the fashions of 19th century New York State.
Dr. Deborah Holler is a Lecturer and Mentor at Empire State College and teaches in Cultural Studies, Literature and the Arts. Her articles and creative writing have been published in regional and national magazines as well as academic journals. She has presented her lectures at national and international conferences, historical societies, and cultural events throughout New York State and is currently working on projects concerning the life and times of 19th century Seneca Caroline G. Parker Mountpleasant.
This program will be held at the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts at Blue Mountain Lake, and will begin at 1:30 p.m. For additional information, call (518) 352-7311, ext. 128 or visit
Photo: Pincushion, typical of souvenir made for tourists by Eastern woodland Indians. From the collection of the Adirondack Museum.
On March 17 and 18 as part of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway War of 1812 Bicentennial Quilt Show event, Schofeild will display his collection of tools, iron needles- scissors- buttons- binding- threads- fabric swatches, including linsey-woolsey- and a rose blanket and homespun blanket common to the early 19th century time.
At the show, Schofeild will be dressed in period costume, selecting from his interpretations of a New York State militiaman, a US naval enlistee or an 1812 civilian. He will be joined by living history interpreters from the Fort La Presentation Association of Ogdensburg, NY- Genesee Country Village and Museum, Mumford, NY- the Sackets Harbor Battlefield Alliance and quilters in early 19th century American and English Regency period dress.
The “cot-to-coffin-sized” quilts coming from 18 U.S. states and Canada will be displayed in three 1812-period historic buildings in Sackets Harbor, NY.
The $5 admission benefits the Seaway Trail Foundation. The show is co-sponsored by Orleans County Tourism and the 22-mile Country Barn Quilt Trail loop off the Great Lakes Seaway Trail to barns painted with quilt block patterns.
Quilting is a cultural heritage tourism theme for traveling the 518-mile-long Great Lakes Seaway Trail byway in New York and Pennsylvania. For itineraries and more information, contact Show Manager Lynette Lundy-Beck at 315-646-1000 x203 or visit the web at
Photo: 1812-appropriate sewing implements from reenactor Ted Schofield’s collection.
The former Union Hotel, a three-story limestone structure built in 1817-18 and now the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Discovery Center- the Sackett Mansion built in 1801- and the Samuel F. Hooker House Arts Center, c.1808, will open 10am to 5pm each day with displays of “cot-to-coffin-sized” quilts.
Lynette Lundy-Beck is a project manager with the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, the not-for-profit organization promoting tourism opportunities along the 518 miles of St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes shoreline in New York and Pennsylvania.
The show guidelines for size, fabrics – linsey-woolsey, silk, and fancy cottons, etc., colors, quilt patterns, and embellishments such as broderie perse (Persian embroidery) were developed by Seaway Trail in concert with American quilt historian Barbara Brackman of Lawrence, Kansas.
1812 and English Regency period living history interpreters lending atmosphere in the exhibit buildings and on the village streets will include “President James Madison,” and members of Forsyth’s Rifles with the Fort La Presentation Association of Ogdensburg, NY- MacKay’s Militia from Genesee Country Village and Museum, Mumford, NY- and the Sackets Harbor Battlefield Alliance.
Quilters have been invited to also attend in period dress. 1812 period reenactor Ted Schofield will exhibit his early 19th century reproduction sewing implements. The event’s youngest quiltmaker is a 12-year-old girl from Himrod, NY.
The living history ladies of Upper Canada Village researched and designed a pictorial quilt with embroidery and applique depicting soldiers, Natives, moose, and a sailing ship bordered by a traditional Irish Chain pattern.
DeAnne Rosen of Lawrence, Kansas, has dedicated her quilt to her two great-great-great grandfathers and two great-great-great uncles who fought in the war. Her floral work is based on quilts she saw in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England.
A special memorial exhibit of quilts will pay tribute to the late Seaway Trail President and CEO Teresa Mitchell, who developed the concept for the Seaway Trail scenic byway and for quilting as a cultural heritage travel theme along that byway.
The event also features quilting demonstrations and vendors. The $5 show admission benefits the Seaway Trail Foundation. The show is co-sponsored by Orleans County Tourism and the 22-mile Country Barn Quilt Trail loop off the Great Lakes Seaway Trail to barns painted with quilt block patterns.
For more information, call 315-646-1000 x203 or visit the Seaway Trail
At her March 13 lecture Master Weaver Artisan, New York History contributor and Master Weaver Rabbit Goody, will lecture on the work of her weaving studio, Thistle Hill Weavers, a small mill modeled after the trade shops of the 19th century.
Goody has been in the weaving trade for over 35 years as a hand weaver, as a museum educator, and as a weaver and designer in her own small weaving mill. Her study of historic textiles and history of technology combine to allow her to weave reproductions using traditional methods and transitional technology.
You can see the work of Thistle Hill Weavers at many historic sites around the country, including George Washington’s Mount Vernon- Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello- The Henry Ford Museum- Harper’s Ferry National Park, Harper’s Ferry West Virginia- Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, Akron, Ohio, Rock Hall, Lawrence, NY- The Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown NY- Martin Van Buren’s home in Kinderhook, NY, and Valley Forge National Historic Park, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Thistle Hill also weaves for the film industry and has been a major contributor to over 50 films including John Adams, Road to Perdition, The Narnia series, Master and Commander, Life, The Prestige, Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, Beowulf and the movie Lincoln.
“The art of craftsmanship and the skill of craftsmen have always been celebrated and rewarded over the centuries,” curator Jean Wiart said. “At the General Society, we want to assure that this special mastery for creating beautiful objects will survive down through the years and continue to be rewarded and prized.”
Other artisans in the lecture series will include Miriam Ellner, Verre Eglomise Artisan, April 10- and Gregory Muller, Master Stone Mosaic Artisan, May 8. Lectures are scheduled for 6:p.m. in The Library at 20 West 44th Street, New York City. More information can be found