T’is the season for decorating with pumpkins, Halloween quilts and Trick or Treaters. I didn’t carve a pumpkin this year, but enjoyed the colorful display and seeing all the pumpkins in the field at Suyematsu Farm, less than a mile from my house.
On my recent trip to Colorado, it was fun to see the special Halloween displays in the quilt stores. The Golden Quilt Company had this wonderful window at the store entrance. The Halloween quilt was hanging in Laughing Ladies Quilting in Berthoud. I love this pattern, complete with bats in the borders, candy corn, haunted houses and the witch on her broomstick.
Holly’s Quilt Cabin in Centennial had lively looking shelves of Halloween fabric with decorative Halloween quilts and artifacts. I’m not one to make holiday theme quilts, but I felt inspired by these displays. When I got home, I looked through my stash and found some harvest, pumpkin and spider fabrics that could be used for this season.
On my recent trip to CO, I was fortunate to visit the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in the attractive town of Golden just northwest of Denver. This small museum is well worth a visit if you are in the vicinity. The museum was founded by Eugenia Mitchell who was born in Brazil in 1903, where her parents were missionaries. They returned to Iowa and Eugenia became interested in quilting seeing her mother make quilts for the family. She began purchasing quilts and quilt tops in second-hand and antique stores, many of which now reside at the museum. The museum was Eugenia’s dream. She wanted her collection to be both seen by the public and preserved for the future. In 1990, the museum opened and her dream became a reality.
In this blog I’ll highlight some quilts in the exhibit featuring quilts from the museum’s permanent collection of antique quilts. Here’s a Turkey Tracks from around 1927. In the nineteenth century, the turkey tracks pattern was a traditional one for “freedom quilts,” given to young men on their twenty-first birthday. Great care was taken not to call the block by its other name, Wandering Foot – the recipient might spend his life wandering and never settle down! I was amused to read this legend by the quilt – I never knew about the Wandering Foot!
This New York Beauty dates from 1896. The quilt shows the work of more than one hand. Some blocks show bumpy, uneven stitching and others are better made. Fine hand embroidery identifies the maker of each block: V.P., M.F.P. October 1, 1896, Mother L.D.G. 1888, and A.F.P October 1, 1896.
The Eight-Pointed Flower, c. 1855-1860 is cut at the corners for use on a four-poster bed. But four poster quilts are usually larger than 90″ and this quilt is only 73″ x 74″. Perhaps it was made for a child’s bed. This Crown of Thorns with wide blue sashing is documented as being from Clarksville, Officer’s family, 1880. The fabrics used were popular from 1880 through 1895, suggesting the quilt could have been made five or ten years earlier.
Mildred Johnson of Bethel, Ohio made this lovely Nineteenth Century Tulip quilt, c.1897. Mildred was an experienced and expert quilt maker. The hand quilting is absolutely exquisite.
When I lectured for the Northwest Quilting Connection in September, I had the opportunity to visit Calico Creations, a quilting store located on Main Street in downtown Mount Vernon. The store is attractively laid out with a good selection of fabric and quilt samples adorning the high walls. There were several eye-catching modern style quilts with a fresh bright look as well as a sampling of more traditional patterns. It’s worth stopping by there if you are in the vicinity and only a a few minutes detour from Interstate 5. Here’s the pictorial tour.
Here’s the Seahawks fabric! (Local American football team for those of you who are uninitiated!).
The second annual Bainbridge Island Quilt Festival took place on 13th September. This Festival was initiated in 2013, by Barbara Kirk, owner of Esther’s Fabrics on Bainbridge Island. Barbara was inspired by the joy and beauty of the annual Sister’s Quilt Show held outdoors in Sisters, OR and wanted to put on a similar but smaller venture on Bainbridge. The Bainbridge Island Modern Quilt Guild collaborated with Esther’s Fabrics and other local businesses to display the quilts on our main street in Winslow.
It was a warm sunny day and the locals, as well as many visitors, were delighted by the colorful array of quilts. I gave a lecture in Mount Vernon in the morning and drove back in the afternoon. Unfortunately, the ferry traffic was backed up at Edmonds so I had to sit and wait. I arrived at the quilt show at 5.00 p.m. just as quilt take down was starting, so I hurried along the street to see as much as possible.
I arrived in time to see my own entry still hanging. Catherine’s Lone Star, made for my niece, was hanging outside the Wildernest Outdoor Store.The stunning Log Cabin quilt was made by Terry Lay and machine quilted with gorgeous feathers by Marybeth O’Halloran. It hangs with a traditional Nine-Patch made by Emily Steed and quilted by Amy Steed.
These two quilts caught my attention. The classic red and white Snail Trails and Stars quilt entitled Supernova looked striking. It was made by Ki Kilcher and quilted by Teresa Levitt. The attractive Bordered Diamonds was made from a Kaffe Fassett pattern and Kaffe fabrics by Heather Kitchen and quilted by Country Threads. Next year, I hope to be at the show for the whole day and to take a more active part in volunteering to help.
In mid-September, I lectured for the Northwest Quilting Connection. This group includes members from the northwestern part of WA and southern British Columbia. They meet five times a year and rotate the location of their meetings within their area. About 50 people attended my lecture and they gave me a wonderful welcome. I was fortunate to spend the night before the lecture with a member, Pat Thompson, in her lovely home up on the hill overlooking Mount Vernon and the Skagit flats. Pat gave me permission to share some of her beautiful quilts with you.
I slept in the bed with the blue and white antique quilt at the foot and Pat’s matching wall hanging – the odd shapes at the sides of the picture are lamps! Pat made the gorgeous Crown of Thorns quilt hanging over her bed. She contributed to the one on the bed made by members of the Northwest Quilting Connection for a raffle fund raiser and much to her delight, she won it! It was machine quilted by Gretchen Monti.
Pat made this quilt, It’s a Good Start!”, using the fracturing technique and Trudy Arnold machine quilted it before the beaded embellishment was added. Pat took a class from Tom Atkins who taught the beading techniques. “It’s a good start” was what Tom said when he saw the quilt in class, and so it was named! The photo doesn’t do justice to the incredible beading on that amazing flower.
The pictorial quilt depicts the a fishing village in Ribesella on the north coast of Spain in the Basque country. Pat began this in a class taught at Asilomar by Hilde Moran. On the right is Curves in all the Right Places, which hangs over Pat’s fireplace. Pat utilized hand-dyed fabrics by Elin Noble. She embellished with couched yarn, ribbon and beads, The border is pieced with thin slivers of curves in the blocks.
I couldn’t resist including a picture of Pat’s wonderful collection of antiquities – irons, sewing machines, quilts and quilt tops. Her dining room and living room were covered in baskets filled with fabric, books and other quilting goodies – over 160, for which she apologized before I arrived! Pat is responsible for the silent auction fund raiser at the upcoming La Conner Quilt Festival from 3rd to 5th of October. Funds go to operating and maintenance costs of the La Conner Quilt and Textile Museum. Quilt Fest is always a feast for the eyes. This juried show includes all kinds of textile art, not just quilts and entries are submitted from all over the world. Please support this if you are able, and enjoy this outstanding show.