Royal School of Needlework-- 2015 Courses

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My First Untimely Encounter With the Baltimore Album Police

The year was 1990, and I was enthusiastic about going to the Quilt Show in Cromwell, Connecticut. Each year the show was held on dates close to my birthday, and I always used that as an excuse to attend. I didn't have a chance to look at the quilts yet. I was still enjoying the vendors. The displays were fantastic. One vendor had hung her applique all around her display. The colors were so vivid. The backgrounds were all black, and the colors she used for the applique made the scenes come alive.
"May I help you?" she asked. "I love what you have done with the colors against the black backgrounds", I responded. She thanked me, then asked, "Have you ever worked with black backgrounds?" (I didn't notice the 75-ish Baltimore Album police woman standing beside me. She was dressed all in tan. It was July, and she had on a tan dress with a tan sweater, tan shoes, and a large tan purse. The purse was the perfect size for visiting quilt vendors. It was about 24 inches long by 18 inches high and 12 inches deep. It could hold a lot of purchases. It looked heavy.)
When I enthusiastically explained that I was making a Baltimore Album quilt with a black background, the BA policewoman swung around and slammed her purse into me with such force I fell to the floor of the exhibition center. As I started to get up she shrieked, "You must never make a Baltimore Album quilt with a black background! They all must have white or muslin backgrounds!"
I had learned my lesson. So I went home and decided to make a Baltimore Album quilt with a light background at the same time that I was making the BA quilt with the black background. That way I could determine which one I liked better. I will start adding photos of my Baltimore Album fraternal twins soon. As time went on, I started making different patterns on the twin blocks. I finished both quilts in 2004.


Barbara said...

Shocking! If it is any consolation, I'm a member of the Baltimore Applique Society and Mimi Dietrich's grad school class and I think a black background is just fine!

One of the clerks at the shop took Mimi's BAQ class. Her goal was to make Mimi scream. She used a red background because, as she said, "red is a neutral" (or was it orange?). Mimi was ok with that. But, one of her blocks had alien faces as the flowers. That one made Mimi scream.

Margaret said...

Barbara, I also belong to the Baltimore Applique Society. I appreciate your comments. (I think I'd go blind with the red, however, but each person should do whatever makes her happy.)