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Anne Dawson

Anne Dawson

The 1876 Centennial Quilt Project

Friday, April 8, 2022

Every now and then, one can still come across a quilt that stops you in your tracks for its complexity and visual impact. In May of 2015 one of those exciting serendipitous moments occurred for a group of quilt friends in the San Juan Islands of northwestern Washington when one member found an extraordinary Connecticut quilt on-line in a quilt history discussion group. Set in a medallion-style arrangement, the quilt contained over 70 different patterns. It also contained the date 1876 and the initials EMC in four separate rather large circles, all part of its stunning medallion setting. Many of the block patterns in this quilt have been around for well over 125 years and most are in the public domain. However, it is the arrangement of the blocks in this quilt that is so unique and so exacting. The journey began in July 2015 after the group obtained permission to pattern the quilt from its owner, Barbara Menasian. It was a taxing journey for all, from creating the pattern to completing 23 quilts - several members making more than one! Completion of all the quilts in the project took well over two years, with the patterns writer and project leader, quilt shop owner Anne Dawson of Lopez Island, presenting 3 to 4 new patterns each month, staying just one or two blocks ahead of the rest of the group. The participating 18 quilt-makers skillfully and beautifully interpreted the original quilt in a wide variety of styles. You can see their quilts on Anne’s website, Gallery.

Follow the journey of the 1876 Centennial Quilt from discovery to exhibition at the International Quilt Festival. Learn what’s involved in creating a complex pattern and how an antique quilt can be relevant for quiltmakers today. Be inspired to begin a significant quilt.

About the Speaker:

Anne Dawson has been an avid quilter for over 45 years. Her introduction to quilting came as a result of a high school history project. Anne chose to make a quilt to accompany her paper, “Quilting in Early America”. She has learned a lot since then!

From an early age, Anne dreamed that someday she’d live in the country and have a quilting studio. In 1999 after many years working in fabric shops, restoring antique quits, making quilts, and teaching quilt-making, she opened The Quilter’s Studio in her small, rural community of Lopez Island, Washington.

For the past twenty-two years, she has gone to her studio most every day to, as she says, “Do something with fabric.” The Quilter’s Studio has grown to include classes, personalized instruction, creative support for the quilting community, and a “small but mighty” selection of fabric and supplies, and most recently, quilt pattern development and writing for The 1876 Centennial Quilt Project.

Workshops offered by speaker:

No workshops available

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