Q is for Quilts
"Q is for Quilts" closes on
July 4, 2004
diaries," says author Roderick Kiracofe, "are an
accumulation of bits and pieces of the maker's life,
a repository of ideas, hopes and feelings." So it is
fitting that quilts should take a special place in the Minnesota
History Center, also a storehouse of stories in tangible form.
The "Q is for
Quilts" section of the exhibit Minnesota A to Z
displays Minnesota quilts and the stories behind them.
Four new quilts are
Quilt by Erica Spitzer Rasmussen, 1999.
Spitzer Rasmussen teaches studio arts as an assistant professor
at Metropolitan State University and as a papermaking instructor
at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. This quilt is constructed
of Earl Grey tea bags, hand stitched together and backed with
Unryu rice paper from Thailand.
"In addition to
utilizing handmade paper, I often incorporate non-archival
media into my work," Rasmussen said. "I derive great
joy from transforming everyday materials into something personal,
meaningful and beautiful. When I see tomato paste, dog hair,
sausage casings, spent tea bags or dried fish skins, I envision
a work that may be transitory in nature, but rich in surfaces."
Quilt, by Ruth Piippo, about 1979
Ruth Piippo, from New
York Mills, Minnesota, collected some 876 cotton prints of
the 1940-1970s for her hand stitching. These fabrics were
widely available to rural Minnesota families and were commonly
seen in the clothing made by mothers and grandmothers and
worn by family members to church, to school, and at home.
They include pieces of pillowcases, aprons, housedresses,
doll clothes, children's school dresses, and party dresses.
Several of them were originally printed flour sacks.
Quilt, by Mary Henderson Allison, about 1840
Mary Henderson Allison
Dorsey made this Caesar's Crown quilt between 1840 and 1860
while living in her hometown of Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. Mary
died in Saint Paul in 1884. Her quilt, after being stored for
decades in a family trunk, was donated to the Minnesota Historical
Society in 2001 by her great-great-granddaughter, Mary Allison
Bigelow McMillan. The Caesar's Crown pattern, one of many quilt
patterns popular in the mid-1800s, was revived in the 1930s
as the Friendship Ring pattern and published as a Laura Wheeler
Corbatas de Familia,
by Sylvia Santos, 2001
Sylvia Santos adapted
a Native American quilt pattern, incorporating 73 neckties from
three generations of the Santos family into a unique radiating
circle of color. Her effort took several years and was awarded
the Second Premium at the 2001 Minnesota State Fair.
To bind the generations
of her family, Sylvia Santos incorporated ties from her husband's
grandfather, Wallace B. Santos, her father-in-law, John Santos,
and her husband, John Robert Santos.
For nearly two years,
quilters came to the History Center every Saturday to create
quilts and discuss the process of quilting. The Quilts section
opened in October 1997, and a new set of quilts will be displayed
each year until the exhibit closes in 2005.
Volunteers in the
Minnesota Quilt Project, which has documented more than 3,500
Minnesota quilts in collections across the state, participated
in the exhibit and related activities. The project has been
a partner in the exhibit.
[Q is for Quilts] - [Quilting Bees]
The exhibit is a collaboration of the
Minnesota Historical Society, the Minnesota Quilt Project
and Minnesota Quilters Inc.
[Minnesota A to Z]