It was all about old quilts at the Alachua County Library Headquarters in Gainesville, Florida, last week. In fact, it's been all about quilts all month long in many of the branches, but more about that later. I was given the opportunity to put together a program featuring antique quilts titled "Revisiting Old Beauties." I invited two quilt collecting friends to join me, and together we shared some lovely pieces. This Golden Wedding Ring is a unique rendition of the timeless and popular 1930s Double Wedding Ring pattern. The colors have stayed so vibrant.
This is collector Jill Allen's Lone Star quilt top. It's a Pennsylvania quilt, her specialty in collecting. The large star is precision pieced while the satellite stars were pieced, then appliqued on the quilt top. It's circa 1920s and may have been what is known as a "kit quilt". This means the fabric colors were selected and pieces cut by a manufacturer, leaving the sewing and assembly to the quilter. It sparkles.
Jill was unable to join us for the presentation, though she did send her quilts. Here I am, left, with quilter and collector Debra Johnston, right, standing in front of Debra's Golden Wedding Ring and getting ready to talk about each of the quilts we brought. We estimated that at least half of our quilts were a century old, with others approaching that.
After showing each quilt, our expert holders and folders lined the quilts up on tables so that program visitors could take a close look at the fabrics, stitching, and quilting on each of the 20 or so quilts we brought. You can get a glimpse of my late 1800s to early 1900s sampler top, my early 1900s Bow Tie, my late 1800s Red and White Triple Irish Chain, Jill's early Pennsylvania Log Cabin, Debra's 1930s Touching Stars... and that's about as far as you can see in this photo.
In addition to collecting, we talked about revisting vintage quilts by replicating them- making a quilt in the same patern, but using new fabrics and methods. Jill loves to study old quilts and replicate them, as she did with this beautiful Cotton Boll quilt. She had an extra applique block left over and put it on our guild free table. I grabbed it up and made a funky Christmas wallhanging with it, foreground.
Mary Peer of the Quilters of Alachua County Day Guild wore her patchwork pants to represent at this festive event. Mary did all of the hard work of coordinating themed quilt displays at library branches throughout the county. She's standing in front of another antique quilt replicated by Jill Allen. Jill calls this one The Vermont Quilt after seeing the original, which is in a private collection, in a publication of quilts of Vermont. Her work is masterful, and she's an award winner.
To add to the vintage celebration of the day, this terrific old 1956 Studebaker car was parked outside the library. I had to add a photo of it. We completed our program just ahead of the library suspending all programming in the coming weeks. Now we will stay in and sew. Wishing all of you well. Hope you enjoyed revisiting these old beauties!