Jul 10, 2012

A Fascination with Fabric...

To say that quilter's have always been fascinated with fabric seems like an understatement. There has always been a common thread between those of us who quilt today and quilters of days gone by. We may no longer quilt for utility reasons, but the bond is there none-the-less. Many of us strive to make our quilts look "old". I've been know to spritz, spray and tea dye to get that old, somewhat stained look. I work primarily in reproductions (but that doesn't mean I don't have an equally large collection of "modern" prints), love to hand quilt when time and the scope of the project don't appear too overwhelming, and I aim for a batting that, after washing, will crinkle up my lovingly stitched quilt so it looks like it was put away years ago to be resurrected by a loving relative. I can only hope my children (and grandchildren?) will appreciate and be fascinated with fabric and my quilts.

This Tumbler quilt was pieced in 1950 in Johnsburg, NY. from feed sacks, dress making materials, shirting and as noted: possibly some Johnsburg calico made about 1800. It was on loan from the Johnsburg Historical Society.

The Bow Tie pattern, another way to use scraps of fabric, was made by Martha Meek of Indian Lake, NY in 2000. The ties are actually made from men's silk ties (note to self: where did I put that large container of old ties??)- over 200 ties in all were collected from the men of Indian Lake!

A cotton crazy quilt pieced by Maria Austin in 1915:

This quilt was finished in 1934 by Kate Watsaw and Jennie Ordway of North River, NY. 

Noting that many quilters make pieces "meant to be hung on the walls like paintings", The Art of Quilting section had several lovely pieces. Below is just one of the landscape quilts exhibited:

Giant Mt., Keene Valley, In My Mind's Eye.
Kathleen Towers, Wells, N.Y. 2007

Whitework Quilt, 1853
Sarah M. Getman, Mayfield, NY
An extraordinary display of the art of the needle- Sara was 15 years old at the time!

I hope you enjoyed this little trip through the quilt exhibit with me...can I leave you with this note from the brochure* before ending this post?

"Quilts and comforters can give their makers outlets for serving their communities and affirming relationships".

I think we can all agree that no truer words have ever been written.

I have a few other photos of non-quilt related sights I'd love to share with you. I will save those for my next post so as not to overstay my welcome! 

* The brochure from Common Threads in online at the museum website. You can see it here. I assume it will remain online while the quilts remain at the museum (October 14, 2012).


Libby said...

What a great display . . . . maybe I will have to come east again sometime to see it *s* I already know that I would LOVE to visit the Shelbourne again *s*

Nancy in MT said...

Karen, I'm so glad you posted about this museum. I just toured their website and what a joy to read and see the history of these quilts.

Noel said...

How happy I am to see your recent blogs; I have been missing you! I loved the trip through the Adirondacks and the quilts especially, of course. Another source of inspiration for all of us. Thank you for sharing.

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