Monday, March 16, 2015
By Carolyn Ducey
Curator of Collections
Last week I was honored to be invited by the Department of Human Ecology at the University of Alberta to speak about my research on quilts made by the Evangelical Sewing Society of the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia – a small part of my dissertation research. Like I told the audience, being asked to talk about your research is like someone sincerely – really! – requesting you show your vacation photos… Such an indulgence!
Lori Moran, Vlada Blinova and Rebecca Blakey made me feel so welcome. They graciously showed me around the University and Vlada gave me a personal tour of their clothing and textile collection. I kept my hands in my pockets the whole time… I wanted to reach out and touch the gorgeous chintzes and woven brocades, stroke the exquisite velvet shoes and the feathered hats. You know I know better, but it was almost irresistible.
I wasn’t aware that the evening of my presentation was also the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences College. That put a little more pressure on… I have to say I was a bit more nervous than usual when speaking! Lots of really smart people in the audience with a wealth of information. Lots of quilters too – and they had such thoughtful questions after I finished.
I also really enjoyed the impromptu exhibition of quilts made by the Edmonton Quilt Guild. They went to so much trouble to make the night special and I was overwhelmed to be a part of the celebration.
The Human Ecology department at the University of Alberta and the IQSCM have a lot in common. We both are devoted to the preservation and care of textiles and quilts, because we realize they have such rich stories to tell. We both take our mission seriously – to instill the same sense of delight we feel about marvelous textiles to future generations. Visit our websites, check out our exhibitions, read our publications – I promise you’ll be hooked too!
International Quilt Study Center & Museum
University of Alberta Museums