Tag Archives: Fiber Arts – Textiles

New Contributor: Rabbit Goody, Textiles Expert


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Please join us in welcome our newest contributor here at New York History, Rabbit Goody. Goody is a nationally recognized textile historian who has served as a consultant to major museums, private collections, and the film industry. Her reproduction fabrics appear in many movies, including Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Master and Commander, Amistad, The Titanic, Cinderella Man, Polar Express, The Prestige, Transformers, and the new Indiana Jones movie.

Goody has extensive experience working as a consultant to museums including dating and identifying textiles in specific collections; making recommendations about ex­hibits, storage, and con­ser­vation; helping museum staff to develop appropriate and workable furnishing plans that include historically accurate soft furnishings, from carpet to loose covers to window treatments; and developing plans for textile rotation. She has worked with many living history sites to coordinate the use of historically accurate repro­ductions with original items in the museum’s collections.

Wanda Burch: 18th Century Bed Rugs


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The question was raised on “what are bed rugs?” in a recent living history association [ALHFAM] on-line thread. Bed rugs, often spelled “bed ruggs,” were common bed coverings that appear in both 18th and 19th century house inventories. Bed rugs were inventoried in Johnson Hall in Johnstown, NY, in a 1774 inventory of household goods by Daniel Claus. Johnson Hall was built in 1763; but the inventory was completed in 1774, a common recording for wills and cataloguing household goods. Continue reading

First Quilt Exhibit at Fenimore in 15 Years


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The Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York will open a new exhibition on September 24 titled Unfolding Stories: Culture and Tradition in American Quilts, organized by renowned quilt scholar Jacqueline M. Atkins. The exhibition will be on view through December 31. This marks the first time in over 15 years that the Fenimore will display selections from its substantial collection of historical quilts some dating from the early 19th century.

The exhibition explores the many connections that are made throughout and across cultures through the art ofquilting, as well as how these connections have changed over time and place. Almost every culture offers some form of quilting within its textile tradition, yet only in the United States do we see a confluence of traditions, cultures, ethnicities, and innovations that produces the richly diverse quilting culture that exists today.

On view will be approximately 24 quilts distinguished by their design, pattern, and workmanship. The quilts are organized to examine six themes ranging from the history and inventiveness of this time-honored practice to the role that quilts play in revealing values, culture, traditions, and beliefs. Unfolding Stories pieces together this intricate patchwork of diverse connections into a fascinating narrative that grows out of stories embedded in the quilts themselves. Quilts on display include pictorial narratives, one-patch designs, crazy quilts, cut-outs, star quilts, and signature quilts.

“Unfolding Stories looks at how various cultures interpret different designs within the quilting tradition,” remarked Director of Exhibitions at the Fenimore Art Museum, Michelle Murdock. “It demonstrates how cultural and cross-cultural connections are made through design processes as well. Quilts continue to provide visually powerful yet ever-changing texts for us to read, interpret, learn from, andenjoy,” Murdock added.

Also included are the three award-winning quilts from The Farmers’ Museum’s 2010 New York State of Mind Quilt Show. The exhibition is sponsored in part by Fenimore Asset Management.

The exhibition will compliment the many folk art related activities taking place this fall at the Museum including the exhibition Inspired Traditions: Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection ofAmericana opening October 1. Join us across the street at The Farmers’ Museum for this year’s A New York State of Mind Quilt Show – October 8 and 9.

The Fenimore Art Museum’s 2011 Americana Symposium will be held on September 30 and October 1. This new annual event will bring together leading scholars and experts on American history, art, and culture.

Photo: “Trade and Commerce” Quilt Top by Hannah Stockton Stiles (b. 1800), ca. 1835. Possibly Delaware River Valley. Cotton, cotton chintz. 105 x 89 in. Gift of Hannah Lee Stokes. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York.

Adirondack Museum’s Fabric and Fiber Arts Fest


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The Adirondack Museum will hosts its annual Fabric and Fiber Arts Festival on Saturday, September 17, 2011. Fabrics and regional artists are featured at this one day celebration of spinning, weaving, quilting, knitting, knotting and all fiber arts.

There will be textile appraisals by Rabbit Goody in the Visitor
Center from 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and a variety of yarn installations, or yarn bombings, displayed throughout the museum campus during the event. Yarnbombing is a type of street art typically found in urban areas.

Regional fiber guilds and artists will “yarn-bomb” more utilitarian parts of the museum in celebration of the fiber arts, and to showcase how traditional crafts like knitting and crocheting are being applied in new ways in the 21st century. This year’s
event includes a crocheted SUV cover by Jerilia Zempel.

In addition to the yarn-bombing displays, the museum will also feature the Third Annual Great Adirondack Quilt Show on September 17. The show is a special display of quilts inspired by or used in the Adirondacks, and will be open through October 9, 2011.

Demonstrations during the festival include: art quilting with the Adirondack Regional Textile Artists Alliance; bobbin lace-making with Judy Anderson; mixed-media textile arts and quilting with Louisa Woodworth; quilting with Northern Needles; rug hooking with the Country Ruggers; a variety of wool arts with Serendipity Spinners and felt making with Linda Van Alstyn. Linda will offer informal sessions of make your own felt flowers for a $5 fee.

Museum Curator Hallie Bond and guest Rabbit Goody will offer a presentation at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. entitled “Weaving Through History,” telling the history of the weaving tradition. Presentations will take place in the Auditorium. Visitors will be able to browse and buy from a small group of talented North Country fiber artists at the vendor fair. Enjoy fiddle and guitar music by talented musicians Doug Moody and John Kribs throughout the day.

Hands-on activities include recycled rugs – help braid strips of blue jeans into a floor rug and placemats for the museum’s Little Log Cabin, or make a coaster for home from recycled tee-shirts. This year’s Fiber Fest will include an afternoon knit-in hosted by Carol Wilson. This will be an opportunity for knitters to work on a project in the company of other knitting enthusiasts, and to exchange tips with other participants about how to tackle tricky techniques. Knitters are highly encouraged to bring finished projects to display, as well as works in progress.

Visit www.adirondackmuseum.org for a list of fiber related workshops that will take place on Sunday, September 18, 2011.

Wedded Perfection: Two Centuries of Wedding Gowns


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Vera Wang, Christian Dior, Paco Rabanne, Zac Posen, and Bob Mackie are just a few of the world-renowned designers whose creations are showcased in “Wedded Perfection: Two Centuries of Wedding Gowns” on view June 19 through September 18 in the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute Museum of Art in Utica.

Wedding gowns are the ultimate in fashion opulence. This monumental exhibition, the most impressive ever presented on the wedding gown and the largest in MWPAI history, showcases 50 gowns dating from the 1700s to today.

From vintage to vogue, gilded to goth, these fashion masterpieces are the epitome of artistry, illustrating how the same styles that pervade the fine and decorative arts in the Museum’s collection manifest themselves in fashion art.

Ancient Greek and Roman motifs, which saturated American arts in the late-18th and early-19th centuries, are embodied in the empire waistline, sheer material, and columnar outline of an 1801 gown in “Wedded Perfection.” The bride would have eschewed the opulent heavy silks and structured gowns associated with French and English 18th-century aristocracy of a generation earlier, and as captured in a 1763 emerald-colored, brocaded-silk gown in the exhibition.

Designers transform extraordinary ideas into clothing. Each gown in “Wedded Perfection” relates a story about cultural values, the bride, or the creator of the dress. Dressmaker Ellen Curtis (1850-1923), for example, wanted her own wedding dress to serve as a showpiece, a way to entice more ladies to call on her needle-working artistry. In the exhibition, her stylish wedding dress illustrates a mastery of skill and tailoring techniques and an awareness of all the latest fashions. Contemporary couture designer Zac Posen fashioned an imaginative vision into an extravagant dress for his sister’s 2004 marriage. The intense color and six-foot train ornamented with silk poppies are inspired by the movie “The Wizard of Oz” and reflect the bride’s sense of style. The train in its entirety can be seen in the exhibition.

“Wedded Perfection” will explore the origin of western bridal traditions, trendsetting wedding dresses, contemporary and avant-garde wedding dresses, influential designers and periods when the “traditional” white wedding dress was not worn.

When Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in 1840, she popularized the mode for the single-use white wedding gown. Not all women could afford such a luxury, and dresses of numerous colors are represented in the exhibition. When Evelyn Marie Wright married during the depression, for example, her family was not in a position to buy an elaborate wedding gown. Her future mother-in-law, an accomplished seamstress, crafted a fashionable dress from machine-made lace. The bride chose blue, her favorite color, and despite the high neckline of the dress, its sleek, form-fitting shape and light fabric are alluring.

The variety of styles in the exhibition illustrates how each bride makes a personal statement. As exemplified by the lace, tulle, feathers, fur, rhinestones, and flowered trim on the gowns, the wedding dress is an artistic canvas. The dress may be the most elaborate piece of clothing a woman will ever wear and the one garment in which she is assured rapturous attention. An opulent 1887 gown is ornamented with silver beads, faux pearls, and wax orange blossoms, a symbol of purity. Thirty-four years later, a 1921 dress also elaborately decorated with pearls, demonstrates how quickly fashion arts revolutionize.

With gowns that vary from a fairytale princess style to a 1967 installation piece by celebrated international artist Christo, this exhibition will examine the compelling allure of the glamorous wedding dress for modern women and its present iconic stature. A gown by New Hartford, N.Y., native and Emmy-award winning designer David Zyla evokes historical antecedents interpreted in an ultra-modern and chic manner. Likewise, dresses by Vera Wang illustrate her trendsetting designs of elegant formfitting, strapless dresses.

Including elaborate fashion statements and extreme runway samples by leading designers, “Wedded Perfection” is organized by the Cincinnati Art Museum. Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute is the only other venue for the exhibition. A fully illustrated catalogue will be available in the Gift Gallery.

Special Exhibition Admission: MWPAI Members—first visit free with the voucher that you will receive in the mail; subsequent visits, $5. General Admission—$10

Group tour rates, which include a guided tour and offer a gourmet luncheon on the Fountain Elms Terrace, are available for groups of 20 or more. Contact Ellen Cramer at (315) 797-0000, ext. 2149, for more information.

Photo: Christian Dior (1905-57) France, Wedding Ensemble: Dress, Crinoline, and Headpiece, 1954, linen, silk, Gift of Countess de Rochambeau.

Museum Seeks Adirondack Quilts


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Do you have an exceptional bed quilt or pieced wall hanging that was made in, inspired by, or depicts the Adirondack region?

The Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake, New York is seeking quilts for “The Third Annual Great Adirondack Quilt Show” to be held from September 17 to October 9, 2011. The show open the day of the museum’s Fabric and Fiber Arts Festival and will complement the final season of the exhibit “Common Threads: 150 Years of Adirondack Quilts and Comforters.”

There will be two divisions in the show. Historic quilts (those made before 1970) can be of any theme or technique, but must have been made in the Adirondacks. Modern quilts (those made after 1970) should have a visible connection to the Adirondack region. A “People’s Choice” award will be presented to one quilt in each division.

An eligible quilt might depict an Adirondack scene in appliqué or be composed of pieced blocks chosen because the pattern is reminiscent of the region – “Pine Tree,” Wild Goose Chase,” or “North Star,” for example.

Although the show will not be juried, applicants must complete a registration form prior to September 1, 2011. A statement by the maker is required to complete the application process. For additional information or to receive an application, please contact Hallie Bond via email at hebond@adkmuseum.org , by telephone at (518) 352-7311, ext. 105, or through the postal service at P.O. Box 99, Blue Mountain Lake, N.Y., 12812.

Photo: “Late Summer” by Joanna Monroe was one of the entries in the 2010 Great Adirondack Quilt Show.

@adkmuseum.org>

Old Forge Call For Quilts


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The 25th Annual Northeast Quilts Unlimited seeks entries. The Exhibition will be held at the Arts Center/Old Forge’s new building October 8 to November 30, 2011. Cash prizes will be awarded in several divisions including bed, wall, Art/Innovative, traditional quilt, Adirondack theme, and popular vote. The Northeast Quilts Unlimited is an open show; all quilts entered will be displayed, and judged for awards.

This year’s National Quilting Association Certified Judge is Molly Waddell. The deadline to enter the exhibition is August 27. The fee to enter is $10/$8 members per quilt, with a maximum of 2 entries per quilter.

For more information and entry forms visit www.ArtsCenterOldForge.org, or call the Arts Center at 315-369-6411.

War of 1812-Like Quilts Sought for Bicentennial Event


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It’s “a once-in-200-years” opportunity. The Seaway Trail Foundation is asking quilters and non-quilters, to make quilts with War of 1812-era colors and patterns for the Great Lakes Seaway Trail 2012 War of 1812 Bicentennial Quilt Show and Challenge event.

Organizers are reaching out to American history enthusiasts and re-enactors, children and people of all ages from the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Native nations, and internationally to enter and attend the commemorative event to be held March 17-18, 2012 at the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Discovery Center in the War of 1812 heritage community of Sackets Harbor, New York.


Guidelines for making “cot to coffin”-size (30 inches x 70 inches) quilt using a variety of fabrics, including cotton, linen, silk, wool and linsey-woolsey, and patterns common to the 1812 period are online. Entries must be committed to the show by January 15, 2012; quilts must be completed by March 3, 2012.

The Great Lakes Seaway Trail 2012 War of 1812 Bicentennial Quilt Show and Challenge guidelines suggest studying the research works and books of noted quilt historians Barbara Brackman, Anne Orr and Pepper Cory.

Brackman of Lawrence, Kansas, suggests that a quilt in medallion or strip format would be a good patchwork design for the historical era. Brackman says, “Patterns that were popular during the 1812 time were simple stars and basic nine-patch and four-patch variations. The War cut into fabric imports into America but well-to-do women already had stashes of imported French, English and Indian chintzes and calicoes in a variety of colors, and loved to mix large-scale and small-scale prints. For those thinking of using fabric reflecting the domestic prints of the time, indigo blues, browns and a touch of pink would be among the best colors.”

Brackman has designed a reproduction collection of prints from the era for Moda Fabrics; the “Lately Arrived from London” collection should be available in quilt shops by the end of the summer of 2011.

The Seaway Trail Foundation is sponsoring the event as part of a host of War of 1812 Bicentennial commemorative plans for tourism, cultural heritage and military history programs in 2011-2014. The March 2012 show will be the kickoff for a 2011-2014 traveling educational exhibit of the War of 1812-like quilts.

The 518-mile Great Lakes Seaway Trail along the freshwater coastline of New York and Pennsylvania is a National Scenic Byway offering authentic American travel experiences

Illustration: War of 1812 attack on Oswego from the Paul Lear collection.

Dorsky Museum to Feature Historic Textile Expert


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Rabbit Goody, a leading expert in the study and manufacture of 18th and 19th century textiles, will be featured at a panel discussion at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art in New Paltz on Sunday, February 20th at 3pm.

The panel discussion is coincides with the exhibit currently on view at the Dorsky: Binary Visions: 19th Century Woven Coverlets from the Collection of Historic Huguenot Street. This exhibit features more than 20 coverlets woven from cotton and wool on water-powered looms in small factories across the mid-Hudson Valley during the first half of the 19th century. The exhibition is a particularly important opportunity for historians and scholars to conceive new ways of thinking about the visual power of these coverlets.

Rabbit Goody is owner of Thistle Hill Weavers in Cherry Valley, New York. For more than 20 years, Thistle Hill Weavers has been weaving luxurious custom fabrics, carpet, and trim for designers, home owners, museums, and the film industry. Goody specializes in creating accurate historic reproductions, working from surviving examples, documented patterns, and period weavers’ drafts. Goody was a consultant for the Binary Visions exhibit.

Joining Goody on the panel will be Leslie LeFevre-Stratton, Curator of Collections at Historic Huguenot Street and Jessica Poser, Assistant Professor of Art Education at SUNY New Paltz. Poser has used the textile collections at Historic Huguenot Street as the inspiration for some of her most recent works of art. The panel will be moderated by Brian Wallace, Curator at the Dorsky Museum.

The panel discussion will be held in the Student Union Building closest to the campus entrance off South Manheim Boulevard and is free and open to the public.

For more information about the exhibit and the panel discussion, visit www.huguenotstreet.org or www.newpaltz.edu/museum.

Quilters to be Featured at Seaway Trail Quilt Show


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Quilters who live in the Great Lakes Seaway Trail region of New York and Pennsylvania and have published their own patterns, books or designs, or been showcased in quilting publications, will be featured at the March 19-20, 2011 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Quilt Show held at the Seaway Trail Discovery Center in Sackets Harbor, NY.

The Seaway Trail Foundation has announced that the works of following featured quilters will be on exhibit at the 2011 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Quilt Show:

Betty Alderman of Betty Alderman Designs, Palmyra, NY, is known for her appliqué quilts influenced by 19th century folk art designs. Betty is author of Precious Sunbonnet Quilts.

Judy Allen of Watertown, NY, is the author of The Art of Feather Quilting with more than 100 pattern choices using graceful curved crosshatching.

Linda Glantz, of Holley, NY, is co-owner of Peace Quilts, Inc., Rochester, NY, and co-founder of the International Sister Guild Partnership Program. Her latest book is Flowercolor Inspirations.

Holly Knott of Finger Lakes, NY, is a contemporary art quilter creating designs based on her mother Diane Knott’s watercolor paintings. The pair has co-authored Quilted Garden Delights. Holly publishes quilt and accessory patterns.

Mary Knapp of Watertown, NY, is the designer of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Lighthouse patterns and has had her award-winning quilts featured in Quilters Newsletter Magazine.

Nancy Murty of Bee Creative Studio in Palmyra, NY, is a quilter-artist-author and fabric designer blending the contemporary with the traditional. Her quilt of her grandfather is on the cover of 500 Art Quilts.

Three of the featured quilters will also speak at the March 19-20, 2011 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Quilt Show that includes demonstrators, and vendors in the nine rooms of the three-story historic former Union Hotel (1817) that now houses the Seaway Trail Discovery Center. The building is accessible and has an elevator.

Show admission is $5 for the two days and includes speakers’ presentations on both days; those with active or retired military ID receive $1 off admission.

The show is co-sponsored by Orleans County Tourism and the Country Barn Quilt Trail, a 22-mile loop tour off the Seaway Trail to more than 40 barns and buildings adorned with painted quilt block patterns. Learn more about the Great Lakes Seaway Trail and the Country Barn Quilt Trail online at http://www.seawaytrail.com/quilting.

Adirondack Museum to Host Fiber Fest


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Talented artisans will make this year’s Adirondack Fabric and Fiber Arts Festival at the Adirondack Museum the premier needlework event of the season. The festival will be held on Saturday, September 25, 2010. Activities are planned from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. All are included in the price of general museum admission.

The festival will include demonstrations of rug hooking, quilting, felting, spinning, and weaving, a regional quilt show, textile appraisals, an artisan marketplace, a “knit-in” for a good warm cause, hands-on activities, and the museum’s beautiful exhibit, “Common Threads: 150 Years of Adirondack Quilts and Comforters.”

Demonstrations will be held from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at locations throughout the museum campus. Returning participants include the Serendipity Spinners, members of the community-based needlework group Northern Needles, the Adirondack Regional Textile Artist’s Association, as well as felter Sandi Cirillo and mixed-media quilter Louisa Austin Woodworth.

Liz Alpert Fay will make her first appearance at the festival, demonstrating the art of rug hooking. Fay studied at Philadelphia College of Art, and then participated in the Program in Artisanry at Boston University, where she received a BAA in Textile Design in 1981.

Fay created art quilts for seventeen years, exhibiting nationally and in Japan. Her work was exhibited in shows such as “Quilt National” and at the American Craft Museum in New York City. In 1998 she became intrigued with the technique of traditional rug hooking. Since then she has created colorful hand hooked rugs of her own design. The rugs have been purchased for private collections, and many have been selected for juried shows and invitational museum exhibitions. In 2002, Fay’s rugs were featured in the October issue of Country Living magazine; in 2005 she was filmed in her studio and her rugs featured on HGTV (the Home and Garden Channel).

Thistle Hill Weavers, Cherry Valley, N.Y. will offer a weaving demonstration from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The company is a commercial weaving mill that produces reproduction historic textiles for museums, designers, private homeowners, and the film industry. Textiles created by Thistle Hill have appeared in more than thirty major motion pictures. The business was founded by Rabbit Goody, who is also the owner and current director. For more about Thistle Hill Weavers, visit www.rabbitgoody.com.

Museum visitors can learn more about personal antique and collectible fabrics with Ms. Goody who is a textile appraiser and historian. For a small donation to the Adirondack Museum, she will examine vintage textiles and evaluate them for historical importance and value. Appraisals will be held in Visitor Center from 9:30 a.m. until 12:00 noon.

The second annual “Great Adirondack Quilt Show” will feature a display of nearly three-dozen quilts inspired by or used in the Adirondack Mountains.

A presentation, “Knitting in the North Country: History and Folklore,” will be offered by Hallie Bond and Jill Breit at 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. in the museum’s Auditorium. Bond, a museum curator and novice knitter, will share her ongoing research about the place of spinning and knitting in local history including traditional techniques and the wearing of knitted garments. Breit, Executive Director of Traditional Arts in Upstate New York and a superb knitter, will discuss the vital and vibrant knitting scene in
the North Country today.

A special knit-in, “Warm Up America!” will create afghans that will be donated to Hamilton County Community action, an organization that helps people help themselves and others. The knit-in will be held in the Visitor Center from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Participants will knit or crochet 7″ by 9″ rectangles that will be joined together to make cozy afghans.

A dozen regional artisans will sell handmade fabrics and fiber specialty items in a day-long marketplace as part of the Adirondack Fabric and Fiber Arts Festival.

The Adirondack Museum tells stories of the people – past and present — who have lived, worked, and played in the unique place that is the Adirondack Park. History is in our nature. The museum is supported in part by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency. For information about all that the museum has to offer, call (518) 352-7311, or visit www.adirondackmuseum.org.

Great Adirondack Quilt Show, September 25th


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The Second Annual Great Adirondack Quilt Show will be held at the Adirondack Museum, Blue Mountain Lake, New York on Saturday, September 25, 2010. Nearly fifty contemporary quilts will be displayed in the museum’s Roads and Rails building from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. The show is part of the Adirondack Fabric and Fiber Arts Festival and is included in the price of general museum admission.

All of the quilts and wall hangings in the show were made after 1970; the natural beauty of the Adirondack region has inspired the design of each. This is truly an Adirondack quilt show. Communities from Piseco to Dickinson Center, Diamond Point to Watertown, N.Y., and many towns in between are represented.

The show will include quilts made from published designs (three from one book alone), original compositions, those that are quilted by hand and others by machine, a few tied comforters, and wall hangings constructed using modern layered fabric techniques.

There are a profusion of appliquéd animals – bear and moose predominating! Visitors should look for the “red work” embroidered piece, the round quilt, and the wall hanging made from forty-two rhomboid-shaped “mini” quilts.

Some of the makers featured are truly “quilt artists” with resumes listing the prestigious shows that they have done, and others are Grandmas who have lovingly fashioned special quilts for their grandchildren.

In addition, there will be a mini-exhibit of the textile production of five generations of the Flachbarth family of Chestertown, N.Y. From an 1877 sampler made in Czechoslovakia by Julia Michler Flachbarth to a contemporary quilt representing Yankee Stadium, the exhibit is a fascinating tour of textile history as interpreted by a single family.

Museum curator Hallie E. Bond has organized the Great Adirondack Quilt Show. Bond also curated the exhibit “Common Threads: 150 Years of Adirondack Quilts and Comforters” which will be on display at the Adirondack Museum through October 2011.

The Adirondack Museum tells stories of the people – past and present — who have lived, worked, and played in the unique place that is the Adirondack Park. History is in our nature. The museum is supported in part by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency. For information about all that the museum has to offer, call (518) 352-7311, or visit www.adirondackmuseum.org.

Photo: “Late Summer” by Joanna Monroe is one of the entries in the 2010 Great Adirondack Quilt Show.