I had the pleasure of attending a quilt show at the Metrolina Fairgrounds in Charlotte, North Carolina this past weekend. There were dozens of quilts on display. There were some from the 1800’s, some from the early 1930’s, and some that were modern. I have a collection of old quilts from my family so I mostly enjoyed looking at vintage or antique quilts to compare the colors and patterns to those that I own. However, it was also interesting to see what patterns and ideas more modern quilt makers have come up with.
My mother came along. She has always had an interest in history. She was intrigued by the stories that went along with the quilts. She found several crazy quilts like one her mother made from velvet and silk scraps. We were amazed at the embroidery on top of the quilting. The stitching was very intricate. It took an even greater level of skill than the work done on the quilt itself.
There were several appliqued quilt patterns. We had to look very closely for the fine stitching on these quilts that at first appeared invisible. The stitching was very tiny and the colors of the threads matched the fabrics perfectly.
At one juncture of the exhibit, a lady was taking pictures. She began talking to us. We learned that she stored pictures of nature on her camera that she reproduced as altered images suitable for quilt designs
There were vendors at the show. Most were selling fabrics or supplies for quilt making. One sold interesting buttons that she made and fired herself in the haiku fashion. The buttons had an iridescent quality from the metallic component in the firing process. Her wares were very unique and beautiful. I made my one purchase from her. I bought a scarf pin that was fashioned from a button and pin.
It was obvious that we were at an exhibit of fine craftsmanship that could be compared to any museum pieces prized for their art and history.
I went with my mother to pick up the old family quilt today. For those who have been following my blog, you will remember that I took a tattered old quilt to be restored in the fall of 2013. You can see the before and after pictures to see how much work was done to the quilt from the salvaged old remnants.
I called the quilt shop numerous times throughout its progress to find out how it was coming along. I had to be patient for quilting takes a long time and is very tedious work. Finally, after Christmas I found out that it was ready.
My mother and I were very excited to see the finished work as well as gain some new insights into our family’s history.The transformation is amazing. There were paper scraps from old letters sewn into the back of the quilt. These were saved for me. You can see that I have been trying to sort the letter scraps by handwriting. Some of the dates I found were from 1945 through 1951 so the quilting was done over a span of several years by my great, great aunt.
Many thanks to Diane at QBee Quilts in Charlotte, North Carolina. You did an outstanding job!
Here is a multicolored patchwork quilt that my grandmother and I made together. On the underside she embroidered our initials and the year it was finished, which was 1979.
Here is a red and green star-patterned quilt.
It is small and is only a quilt top since it was never completed.
I have inherited a collection of quilts that were in my mother’s family. I love to look at the different patterns and color combinations. Recently, my mother let me take an old red and brown quilt home with me that was in one of her old cupboards. Mother was tempted to throw it away since it was in bad condition. I took it to a quilt lady who is restoring it for me. Mother says that her great aunt made it some time in the 1880’s or 1890’s. The fabric probably came from clothing that was worn at the time. The pattern is known as Grandmother’s Flower Garden. The quilt lady is using reproduction fabrics to applique over the damaged areas. There were bits of old letters attached to the back of each quilt piece. She has saved these so that we can hopefully discover more of our family history through piecing letters together. I will be very excited to get it and add it to my collection and display it in my home.