Willamette Heritage Center in Salem
The Oregon Quilt Project (OQP) is dedicated to documenting, collecting and preserving information about the quilts and quilt makers of Oregon, past and present. This multi-year, statewide documentation will survey all parts of Oregon with an on-going project culminating in April, 2019. The project began in 2009, and was reorganized in 2012 under the umbrella of the Willamette Heritage Center in Salem. Although OQP began late in the cycle of state quilt projects, it has sought to build on previous experiences and establish an organizational plan to insure it can contribute to the educational value of American quilt history. The project is being led by a small group of dedicated volunteers, who extend their reach by training other documentation teams. To date, this has included quilts in Clackamas, Deschutes, Lane, Lincoln, Marion, Sherman and Washington counties. Quilts recorded have been from public and private collections. It is anticipated that by the end of the project, almost 2000 quilts will have been documented.
Merikay Waldvogel has collected and researched quilts since the mid 1970s. Although she has also written about older quilts, her primary interests are in the 20th century: the 1933 Sears Quilt Contest, Depression Era Quilts, as well as quilt designers, authors, makers (such as Mary Gasperik, whose Star Arcturus is featured, left) and companies that propelled the 20th century quilt styles. Quilts from 1933 Sears National Quilt Contest and ephemera from her personal collection are entered in the Quilt Index.
Merikay Waldvogel became an outspoken advocate for saving quilt ephemera such as quilt catalogs, newspaper columns, batting wrappers, advertisements, contest fliers, etc. when she wrote Soft Covers for Hard Times: Quiltmaking and the Great Depression and Patchwork Souvenirs of the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. The ephemera served as reliable primary sources to authenticate the quilts she was researching.