Thursday, September 3, 2015

WV Quilt Festival Part II

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.


  1. Es sind wunderschöne Quilts und ich finde es sehr berührend, dass sie nach so vielen Jahren als "WIPs" nun fertig gestellt wurde. Eigentlich schade, dass nicht bei jedem Quilt die Geschichte der Näherin dabei lag, das wäre sicher sehr interessant.

    Ich besitze Handarbeiten meiner Ur-Großmutter und die hüte ich wie einen Schatz. Sie hat allerdings nicht genäht, sondern Spitzen gehäkelt und gestickt.

    Liebe Grüße,

    PS: ich muss momentan nur ein bisschen rot werden, denn in den Sommerferien habe ich immerhin 4 große Tops gequiltet und vollendet... Aber bitte frag nicht, wie viele Jahre die zum Teil schon auf dem Ständer hingen...

  2. Karen, I think that blogging could be interesting for the generations that come behind us. In this case, they can read about the stories and the process of each one of our creations, whether they end up being finished or not.

    Oh, wie schön! I have a few pieces from family members that I treasure just as much. Have you thought about framing some of the Spitzen to have on display? That would be beautiful, and you would treasure them all the more seeing them so often.

    I'm convinced that the time constraints and pressure that we put on ourselves can sometimes be a lot. Ok, so it took you a while, but you did finish them eventually when the time was right? Two thumbs up on your finishes!

    LG, Allison

  3. Das ist ein schöner Gedanke, dass die Generationen nach uns unsere Blogs lesen :-) Ich habe auch schon mal ein Jahr meines Blogs als Buch ausdrucken lassen, denn ein bisschen ist es ja auch ein Familientagebuch.

    Meine Ur-Großmutter hat ihre Spitzen mit Stoff kombiniert und Kissen genäht - ich kann sie also sogar benutzen und mich daran erfreuen. Allerdings würde ich diese Kissen nicht unbedingt meinem Sohn ins Bett legen... ;-)Stickereien von meiner Schwiegermutter haben wir gerahmt und wir haben auch einige Wandquilts von ihr.

    Ja, ich glaube auch, dass wir uns nicht so unter Druck setzen sollten. Deswegen nähe ich auch nur für uns und verschenke manchmal Genähtes, aber ich verkaufe meine Sachen nicht. Manchmal nähe ich tagelang, manchmal stehen ganz andere Dinge im Vordergrund und das ist auch gut so. Ich war nur kurz geschockt, als ich im Blog gesehen habe, wann ich das Top für meinen Quilt genäht habe. Aber um so besser, dass er jetzt fertig ist und ich mich zum Schlafen einkuscheln kann!

    Liebe Grüße,

  4. Some stunning quilts there. Would be amazing to find a perfect vintage quilt top to finish off.

  5. Each one is beautiful. It would be sad to finish a quilt top yet never see it through to completion.


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