Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Quilt Show!

      I attended the monthly meeting of the Silver Needles Quilt Guild last night.  We had a wonderful speaker.  Debbie Divine is one of our members and she brought along her miniature quilt collection to share with all of us.  She had an amazing amount of small quilts from all over the United States and from other countries.  What an amazing trunk show!  She had new ones, old ones, and antique ones.
      It was the antique ones that I found most interesting.  Earlier in the evening, when we had Show-N-Tell, one of the ladies there, had an antique quilt she was wanting to sell and it made me think of the antique quilts that I was forced to sell a couple of years ago.  I had run into a rough financial situation and needed money, fast.  So, I had scooped up everything that I thought I could part with that was worth something and I took those items all over town to antique dealers and auctions trying to sell them.
      I had these four quilts ( I also had a crazy quilt which I refused to part with, at any price and I still have it.), a Starburst, a Bear's Paw, a Lone Star, and a Friendship quilt.   The first three came from a great-aunt and the fourth one from my grandmother.
     The Starburst, upon observation, appears to be the oldest.  It had a few stains and the fabrics seem to be of another era.  It just seemed like it carried a lot of years within it's stitches.  I don't think it had seen a bed in a number of  years.
Sunburst     Mary Jellison 
     The Bear's Paw was soft and gently used.  I think it had been a favorite on a bed, at one time.  It seemed more familiar in fabric feel and smell.  At one time, I suspect, this quilt had spent considerable time on a bed.  I can see someone gently stroking the fabric to calm themselves after waking from a bad dream.

Bear's Paw     Mary Jellison
     The Lone Star quilt seems to be the newest one of the lot.  Patriotic colors seem to suggest that this quilt was made during a time of war or perhaps after the end of a war.  The fabric seems very recent.  Everything is very precise and it truly is a work of art.  I don't think it was ever on a bed, until we got it home.  I slept under it for a number of years, until it began to wear and mother packed it up with the rest in her cedar chest.  I loved that quilt!

Lone Star     Mary Jellison
      I loved them all.  I don't know much about them, other than we received them after my Great-Aunt Mary died.  I don't know if she made them or someone made them for her.  I don't know the dates on them.  I don't know what was going on at the time that they were made.  Unfortunately, I don't know much about them.  I can only guess.  But each one is stunning and beautiful and old.  And I loved each one.  It nearly broke my heart in two to part with them.  Now all I have to remember them by are the photographs.  Each one was hand pieced and hand quilted.  Amazing!
     And last but not least, my grandmother's quilt.  This is a a very well-worn Friendship Quilt.  I imagine that my grandmother must have been leaving an old home (I'm thinking Oklahoma?) and going to Kansas.  Although, that's not certain.  And her friends got together and gave her blocks for this quilt.  I don't really know the entire story here, either.  But this quilt has been used, a lot, and had a lot of fraying on it, places where the fabric had simply separated from itself, especially where there were folded over seams.

Friendship Quilt     Oriel Wagner
     The embroidery is less than pristine but still readable.  The names of the ladies were "Mrs." followed by a man's name.  There were a few who used their actual names.  Rebels!!!  Nearly every block had a bird embroidered on it.  I took copies of the embroidery, perhaps I'll re-create it someday.  (I also had a quilt that she made me when I was a baby that I had saved.  But it is long gone, too, several years earlier.)
     It's good to look back and remember quilts I've known, fondly.  I feel like this has finally provided some closure for me, since parting ways with these lovely masterpieces from long ago.

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