Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Workt Exhibit - Part 3 Fabric

I love textiles.  When I see an exhibit I like to take several closeup pictures of the fabrics.

When viewing this quilt from a distance it reads more of a red and green quilt.

On closer examination, the rich blue printed stripe contrasts with each column of flying geese.

Flying Geese Quilt
104" x 114"
Inked on back:
"Samuel B. Cleaver Febr. 19, 1847"

Finger to show scale

Border printed floral stripe - kind of a pillar look.
Note the narrow light binding.

With the glaze still on the fabric the hand quilting stitches show.

This border is on the
Elizabeth Welsh Medallion Quilt
circa 1830
110" x 109"

This stripe print is the border on the Hexagon Quilt:
circa 1830
Sweden (rare)
85 x 75

Printed binding

Note the interesting pattern used in the hand quilting of the border.

This printed stripe also still retains its original glaze.
The right side is the outer edge of the quilt - no binding, folded sewn edge treatment.

The floral portion of the stripe was cut in the middle of the pattern.  Symmetrically used around all four sides of the quilt.

Star of Bethlehem Border
circa 1830
95" x 95"

Isn't interesting to see the print "out" of the quilt?

The stripe in this photo looks like the maker kept the direction of the stripe the same - not true.  Just happened in this block.

A mix of light blue prints were mixed to contrast with the vivid green and red prints.

Delectable Mountains
circa 1850
97" 83"

The maker of this quilt used two similar prints to set these Maltese Cross blocks.  One for sashing and a second for the border.

Note the straight line hand quilting.

Outer border is maybe 3.5" wide.
Applied natural colored binding matches the light solid in the blocks.

Maltese Cross
circa 1870
80" x 67"

Another stripe was effectively used on this Eagle's wings.

While the wings have the stripe running horizontally, the head and legs; using the same stripe, run vertically.  The body is pieced primarily vertically - the tail feathers are a mixed placement of the same fabric.

Elizabeth Welsh Medallion Quilt
circa 1830   Virginia
110" x 109"

The mix of prints in this quilt serve as a lesson - mix prints.  Mix scale, design and color.

This blue stripe was carefully placed to create a secondary pattern in the center of the quilt.

Medallion Quilt
circa 1830
104" x 104"

Another section of the same quilt - mixing stripes, floral in multiple scales.

Medallion Quilt
circa 1830
104" x 104"

More mixed prints.

The center stripe has had conservation work done.

I think it is so important quilts in less than perfect condition are valued and exhibited!

Medallion Quilt
circa 1830
104" x 104"

One more picture of the fabrics in the medallion quilt.

Pictorial Quilt 1795  Linen   103" x 91"
I almost called this post stripes - but wanted to include this cow.

I love applique and I think this could possibly be the best cow ever!

I'm going to dedicate some time to stripes in my quilts next year!  How about you?


Order the Workt by Hand book HERE
See the Brooklyn Museum Collection HERE
More on stripes:  The Devil's Cloth A History of Stripes Michel Pastoureau
   Translated by Jody Gladding
   ISBN: 0-7434-5326-3

Monday, August 12, 2013

Workt Part 2 - The Stars

 Workt Exhibit - Brooklyn Museum

Touching Stars
circa 1850
84 x 82

All solid fabrics
The exhibit catalog states, "Star patterns were difficult to create, and this maker had trouble piecing the diamond shaped fabrics together, as evidenced by the uneven diamonds and puckering in the fabric where she eased it together..."

 Beautiful quilt, and interesting they felt the need to critique the piecing.

Corner Detail
Pictorial Quilt
103 x 91

Linen, Multicolored Thread

Click on the photo to enlarge to see the stitching details.  Applique stitches include a tiny herringbone or blanket stitch.

Medallion Center

Pictorial Quilt
103 x 91

Linen, Multicolored Thread
Click on the photo to enlarge to see the stitching details.  Applique stitches include a tiny herringbone or blanket stitch.

Note the dots, only surrounding this star.

Star of Bethlehem
circa 1850
91 x 86

The insets that on the side and bottom that look like strips are actually pieced diamonds.

Album Quilt
circa 1850
84 x 72

Sometimes called Rising Sun or Sunburst

Mariners Compass
circa 1850
85 x 84

Technically a compass and not a star - but I'm including it here anyway.  I like this angle for the photo so you can see the texture the hand quilting provides.

Same quilt viewed straight on.

Amish Star of Bethlehem
circa 1940
82 x 79
Cotton , Wool

Diamonds are outline quilted.
Vivid blue ground is quilted in flowing, feathered plumes.

Star of Bethlehem Quilt
circa 1830
95 x 95

Chintz motifs are broiderie perse (French for "Persian embroidery")  The exhibit catalog has some interesting points about the term, and when/how it was used in quilting.

Fabric detail from the center star.
Click to enlarge and see the quilting stitches.

Pictorial Quilt
circa 1840
Cotton, cotton thread
85 x 67

The star is a stripe print left of the Freemason fraternal symbol.

Note the seam technique between the blocks.

I hope you enjoyed the stars.
I have been hand piecing some 3" stars.
Are you working on any star quilt projects?

Have a great week,

Monday, August 5, 2013

Workt Exhibit - The Birds

I had the good fortune to visit the Workt by Hand exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City.
The exhibit travels to Washington DC - National Museum of Women in the Arts December 20, 2013 - April 27, 2014.

The Exhibit Catalog can be purchased HERE.

This is one of the gallery rooms with quilts.  We were so fortunate to be the only ones in the exhibit for a couple hours. I took over 1,200 photos.

For this post I'm featuring the birds.

This bird block is from a circa 1850 Album Quilt.

The quilt is hand applique and hand quilted.

The maker shows off her sewing machine with areas of machine work.

Enlarge the photo to see the red stitching around the fruit in the tree.

This block is from the same album quilt.

There is embellishment stitching around the eye, wing and body of the bird as well as in the flowers.

This block is from the circa 1795 Pictorial Quilt
(England or Ireland)

Wonderful parrot - made from multiple fabrics with embroidered details.

The mono print flower is still so vibrant after 200+ years.

Linen ground fabrics
Beautiful prints in the entire piece.

Since this piece isn't quilted, I think it would be more appropriately called a counterpane.

This is the other parrot in the piece.

Different fabrics, but the wing is still blue, even though the head went from pink to brown.

This is one of several birds in the Elizabeth Welsh Medallion Quilt (West Virginia)
circa 1830

Almost all of the applique on this quilt is reverse.
Impressive!  Several nearly identical quilts have been found.

The head of the center medallion Eagle

Double reverse applique eye with embroidery detail enhancing the eye and mouth.

Surrounding the central eagle figure are several floral arrangements that include birds.  These are also reverse applique.

This beautiful example was assembled by the maker from two or more prints.  The vessel is one print.  The contents were cut from a larger print(s) and assembled in a pleasing manner to create her arrangement.

Same quilt, again reverse applique.

In this photo you can see part of the outer borders.

Same quilt.
Reverse Applique.

The branches to the left are what the eagle talons hold from the center Eagle Medallion.  About 1/4" of less reverse applique.

This photo shows more closely how various portions of print fabrics were combined to create the "assemblage" that creates the bird/floral vessel composition.


Do you like the birds?
Are you making a quilt with birds?
What would you like to see next from Workt?  Star blocks? The fabrics?  Edge finishes?