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.