Friday, October 4, 2013

Charleston, Museum Storage and Chintz Books

Textiles - Behind The Scenes
Charleston Museum AQSG tour
I've just returned from the American Quilt Study Group 2013 Seminar in Charleston, South Carolina.  It was another fabulous opportunity to learn and meet with friends old and new.

I was fortunate to do a couple 'behind the scenes' museum tours, several study centers, a round table discussion and always look forward to the paper presentations.

In Columbia SC, we toured the McKissick Folk Art Museum and the Lexington County Museum.  Both places pulled quilts from storage just for our tour.  The time seeing quilts passed all too quickly.  We were asked not to share pictures from this your.  If you are in the area, they are worth a visit.

You can read more about the study centers HERE.  Many of these presenters will do presentations for your local quilt groups.

Charleston Museum - Textile Storage

Let's look in the back room...

This is one portion of the storage area at the Charleston Museum.

The staff pulled a variety of pieces from their collection for us to see.  This was in addition to the quilts in their current exhibit.

Do you wonder what is under the sheeting?
Online photos of their collection HERE.

Charleston Museum - Textile in Storage

As I walked down the aisles I took a couple pictures of some treasures peeking from their wrappers...

Charleston Museum

Given their limited space, we viewed an assortment of quilts in the middle of storage racks.

Those are saddles and leather tack on the shelves.

On the table, not shown in this photo, are beautiful pieces of mosaic patchwork, chintz and quilted pieces.

Charleston Museum

This is the sewing machine storage aisle.

In the current exhibit there are several wonderful sewing boxes and accessories.

They were often times tiny gems out shown by the beautiful quilts sharing display case space with them.

Charleston Museum

Here's a spectacular work box, filled with lovely implements and accessories.

New York Work table 1805-1815
Mahogany, rosewood, Spanish cedar,
white pine and poplar
Fabric and trim not noted

I'm digressing a bit share some other museum storage...

It's not always possible to get behind the scenes of a museum.

This is a portion of the open storage at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

They have climate controlled cases filled with objects.  We strolled the aisles seeing thousands of objects, that in the past would have been unavailable without special study appointments.

Another view of open storage at the Met.
Transfer ware section.

While it is more educational to see the objects displayed in period settings, seeing them this way is better than not at all!

Photo detail
We saw a lot of antique chintz in Charleston.

When you have some Internet time,
       visit Quilt & Textile Collections.

I highly recommend their books, the newest of which is "Chintz Quilts from the Poos Collection" by Kay & Lori Triplet and Xenia Cord.

Xenia provides a history of Chintz that contains important information to give context to the fabrics used to create the antiques treasures in the Poos Chintz Collection.
It is an excellent resource I will be referring to often.

The photography is exquisite, you will feel like you can reach out and feel the texture of the stitches.

Photo detail

It is a large book (320+ oversized pages), and a good value for the high quality of the content.
(This is NOT a pattern/how to make a quilt book)

There are also numerous photos, and important attention to detail, you will spend hours with the book!

You can order the book:
   The Quilt Merchant
   Quiltmania (you can also preview 16 pages of                       the book here)

Charleston Museum current exhibit "Quintessential Quilts"  

I'll leave you with a photo from the Charleston Museum exhibit, "Quintessential Quilts"

Have a great week.  I hope you are enjoying some fabulous fabric, book or museum time!

To Read More:
Mosaic Quilts: Paper Template Piecing in the Lowcountry 
Calico & Chintz: Antique Quilts from the Collection of Patricia S. Smith
     (this is out of print and used pirces vary widely)
Chintz: Indian Textiles for the West by Rosemary Crill
Chintz Quilts:  Unfading Glory by Bullard/Shiell
Trade Goods:  A Study of Indian Chintz by Alicw Baldwin Beer (b&w)
Uncoverings 2013 - two research papers related to chintz and panels for chintz quilts
Printed Textiles English and American Cottons and Linens
                            1700-1850 by FLorence Montgomery (b&w)
Victoria and Albert Museum English Chintz (small b&w)
Victoria and Albert Indian Florals (Includes a CD of print images)
Chintz Quilts from the Poos Collection by Kay & Lori Triplet and Xenia Cord.



  1. I can't imagine how much you were absorbing during all of this. Did you ever feel like you were on system overload?
    Looks like an amazing experience!

  2. So wonderful! Maybe someday I'll go to one of these events. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Oh my. I'm just about speechless here. What a wonderful post. I'm so glad you were able to attend and really appreciate all you've shared both thru your words, photos and links.

    I'm sure this post took time to pull together so on that front, again, thank you.

  4. I must confess that I have never been to a quilt museum - so sorry. But I know that when I go, I want you to go with me - such a wonderful resource of information you are!!!! Thanks always for sharing!!


  5. Thank you for sharing your experience in Charleton. Very interesting. I hope to be able to visit there next Spring.

  6. Wonderful for you! I hope I can view some quilts at a museum one day. I'm sure it was incredible.

  7. your posts are always so meaty~! i love that you share photos, history and links relating to what you have written.
    it's getting a bit late tonight but i hope to return and explore several of the links . . . and that book sounds wonderful too~!


  8. The nice thing about being an experienced quilter is that we do not need books with patterns the photos can be enough for us.

    I love that Federal? sewing table it is great. Glad you had a good time.

  9. Glad you were able to attend the conference. What wonderful examples of chintz quilts. I really find that fabric intriguing. It's on my someday list.

  10. On my bucket list is going to as many museums as possible, seeing as many exhibits and historical quilts as possible. The in-person experience sets my heart aflutter. It sounds like your time in the SC museums was wonderful. Thanks for sharing the photos with us.

  11. You are a wealth of information! Sounds like a great seminar. Thanks for giving us a peek!


Thanks for your comments!