Sunday, May 25, 2014

Road Trip - Day 4 and 5 (1st Installment)

Day 4 started with a trip to the National Museum of Women in the Arts to visit the 'Workt by Hand: Hidden Labor and Historical Quilts'. They had a 'no photo' policy and the exhibit book was out of stock; but according to this 'A Quilter by Night' blog post, The Brooklyn Museum exhibit must have had a more lenient photo policy - be sure to click on 'Part 2' at the bottom of the post.  I have one thing to share - not the eagle above - that was Day 5, but I'll get there.  I studied my 'favorite' quilt from the exhibit for quite awhile.  Jan discovered that Mary Koval has reproduced the quilt, Lydia, and the free pattern pdf is available here.
Update - thanks to Sandy's comment on the previous post.  The Workt by Hand exhibit is at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, CA thru Sept 1, 2014 - link.

In the afternoon, we visited the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.  We saw some amazing things - the top hat President Lincoln was wearing when he was assassinated, the Star Spangled Banner flag that inspired our national anthem, Dorothy's ruby slippers, the First Ladies' Gowns, and the original Kermit the Frog.  Here are a few of the items on display that resonated with me -

The 1841 pin-making machine patent model, patented by John Howe.  The machine could produce over 20,000 pins a day compared to 20 pins per day made by hand.

This 1870 sewing machine patent model accompanied William T Smith's application for patent No. 99,743.

Day 5 was the best day ever.  It personally ranks just under momentous family events (weddings and births).  In the morning we were on the Smithsonian 'Behind the Scenes' quilt tour - AMAZING.  If you're planning a trip to DC, you have to plan around this - the second Tuesday of the month excluding January and February (I think - check to be sure).  Space is limited, so sign-up early.  We saw many of the quilts from the book The Smithsonian Treasury American Quilts by Doris M Bowman. If you have this book (and you should - used copies on Amazon for $0.56!), dig it out to refer to to get the overall view of the quilts I'll post pics of.   Remember to bring your copy of the book - I wish I had mine with me to get Ms. Bowman's signature.  This event ran long and we just made it to our afternoon appointment - Textile Tuesday at the DAR.  BEST DAY EVER!!!

I'm sharing a couple photos from the Smithsonian but will post more later (maybe tonight).  The beautiful Indiana sunshine is tugging at me!  These photos have been shared on other blogs, so this might be a repeat, but they're all worth a second look!  

The eagle from the beginning of the post is a close-up from the Maryland Album Quilt on pg 53 of the book.  Book excerpt: 'This album quilt was probably made about 1860, perhaps for a member of the Wilmer family of Kent County, Maryland.  Much of its elaborate applique was made three-dimensional by gathering folded strips of fabric and stitching them down in various shapes, while some of the motifs are padded with cotton fibers under the applique.  Twelve of the twenty-five blocks have embroidered, inked, or stamped signatures or initials.'

Also appropriate to the Memorial Holiday is the Stars and Stripes Quilt from pg 57.  Book excerpt:  'Mary Rockhold-Teter of Noblesville, Indiana, made this quilt during the Civil War, when patriotic symbols were much on the minds of Americans.  The design, adapted from the American flag and named Stars and Stripes, appeared in the July 1861 issue of Peterson's Magazine, a women's periodical published in Philadelphia....  Mary made the quilt for her son, George, a Union soldier.  In the quilting she included his name, the names of Generals Scott and Taylor under whom he served, "Genral Lyon," the president of the United Sates as "Abe" and "Ab Lyncoln," the word "Cat," and the year, 1861.  Written in ink on the lining is "George Teter."'

A beautiful block print that was displayed on top of one of the quilt storage cabinets.

This snippet of applique is the border to a 'sunflower' quilt that I didn't find in the book - amazing edge stitching along the applique edge.

 I'll post more soon!


Karen said...

I really like the eagle block on the quilt.

Chantal said...

Wow! So interesting! That last picture blew me away! FANTASTIC!! Do you know how old this quilt is? It's simply amazing! Can't wait to your next post. Thanks for sharing.