Just ask the majority quilters how many WIP's they have in the works, and you might find just as many red-faced, embarrassed, sheepish, and purposefully underestimated answers that come back to you. (self included) We all ask ourselves continuously how this happens... sometimes there are legitimate reasons and answers, and sometimes we really can't come up with a proper excuse. Reality check aside, we all have that WIP pile.
When I shared pictures from my visit to the West Virginia Quilt Festival this summer, I knew that there were too many to share in just one post. Even though I am totally a picture girl, more is sometimes just more, isn't it?
Flipping for just a bit... picture this: Can you imagine going through your grandmother's belongings and finding a beautiful quilt top (aka WIP) made by her, a great-aunt, or some other family member... and then having the opportunity to finish it? One of the special exhibitor's at this year's quilt festival does just that and was able to feature 40 vintage quilt tops that had been finished by various long arm quilters. How special to preserve that kind of history!
Some of these precious little prints gave me flashbacks to many of the the very quilts that I had wrapped myself up in for years. I found myself coveting a few of these fabrics to have in my own stash... swoon!
Mary Kerr, who organized the "Quilt As Desired" special exhibit, is a certified appraiser and business owner who specilizes in antique quilt repair and restoration. In addition, Mary is an award winning quilter and gives workshops about antique quilt preservation and quilting history. The original quilt tops on display ranged from 1890 – 1960 with the majority falling in the1930-1940 time frame.
The following two quilts perhaps gives an idea of the influences the quilting community might have seen at that time. My aunt had noticed two quilt tops with the same colors and motifs. They were two different sizes, but identical in color and design, which lead her to believe that they were perhaps a quilting kit that was popular then. It's fun to think of it as something similar to the quilt alongs that dominate the online quilting community today. Notice how two completely different quilters chose to finish the quilts.
With the online quilting community there is truly a real connectedness amongst fellow quilters. In contrast to those connections, somehow viewing this exhibit made me feel even more connected with those women of the past, knowing that I am now carrying on their own tradition...
... where the past crosses paths with the future.
All quilts shown were from the 2015 West Virginia Quilt Festival exhibit.