Thursday, March 18, 2010

Heirloom Quilts at Amelia Island

Last week I had the pleasure of showing my Heirloom Quilts for the Amelia Island Quilt Guild  (mark your calendar for their show Feb. 25--6, 2011!) These quilts come from both sides of my family, with Mom's side being mostly 1930's style. The ones from Dad's side go back to about 1850.
Here's a Double Wedding Ring made by my Dad's maternal grandmother. I put a sleeve on it because it's in good enough shape to hang on a stand:
I adore this quilt! It's definitely the way I would make a DWR....heavy on the scrappy bold polka dots and tribal prints!
Nettie Brookover Eichhorn was a quiltmaker even at the age of 16 (yes, I do have the quilt she made in 1889).  I use her photo as my "avatar" online. This quilt was made closer to her death in 1930. The red fabric in the connecter units gives unity to the scrappiness, and is repeated in the very fine and narrow edge-shaped binding.

It was my mother's dream that the two of us would show these quilts and do a lecture, so I am pleased to be able to offer this for awhile. The quilts will eventually be too delicate to travel. There is a lot of wear & tear as they go in and out of the storage pillowcases, especially on ones like this:
The silks, satins, velvets, and brocades are in remarkably good shape...only one log has "shattered".
This one was made by my Dad's paternal grandmother and her mother!
I have been working on making labels for each quilt, using my computer to print the maker's photo and story. You can see one on top of the quilts...I am still deciding on the complete format, so they are not all done, but at least the quilts all have cloth ID tags on their pillowcases.
This talk is a lot about how to care for vintage quilts...including both my good and bad examples! Extremely important is any kind of label you can get attached to the quilt. Cloth is best, even if you just write with a permanent pen.
On the left is the quilt Nettie made at age 16, and a photo of her taken with friends about the same time.
The one in the middle is another of my favorites, and deserves an entire post for itself! It may remind you of the 30's pattern that Eleanor Burns has re-published as Magic Vine...but is not!
The one on the right is a top made for my grandmother's wedding by her great aunt, who died before it could be finished.
The quilts are displayed folded on a table:
These are the ones from Mom's mother and grandmother.
I am proud to say my fore-mothers on both sides could really handle those shaped-edge bindings! The one here is usually referred to as an Ice-cream Cone border.
I like to be able to really share these quilts and let people come up and touch them after I talk.
We all like to "look with our hands"! (thanks to Cheezdoodle for a rare picture of me!)
With the exception of the Log Cabin and flower-vine quilts, all these were made to be used, and most of them were, so I see no reason to stop touching now. Someday I'll have to put them away, and then no one will be enjoying them.
I'll be recording these treasures as part of the Florida Quilt Project, because they are now in this state. In the very near future, all the quilts recorded will become part of the Quilt Index  and live forever as digital images along with their stories, available to quilt lovers everywhere!
You know you will be hearing more about that!

1 comment:

Pat said...

How could you NOT turn out to be a quilter with all of the quilting genes coursing thru your blood? Your ancestor's quilts are wonderful. Thanks for sharing with us. I bet the folks at Amelia Island were pleased with all that you brought for them to see.