QUILTING, ITS OWN REWARD

 

Yesterday, I talked about one very special quilt that hangs each year at the Independence Hall Quilt Faire, the original Bi-centennial quilt.  With more than 100 quilts never before displayed here, I had much to choose from for today’s blog.  Themes change from year to year. Themes develop from popular pattern makers, or new methods, or fabrics that follow pop culture. Quilters present it all. Some quilts use one huge central design with a border to great effect, like the bird above and the star, bear paws and flowers below.

Among the themes I’ve noticed over the years come teddy bears, cats, shoes, trees, and multiple explosions of color and  abstract placement of blocks. Some so complicated they have to be engineered on a computer or placed on a giant, room sized quilt board to make sense of the pattern. It can involve cutting one or two fabrics up, and sewing them back together again. I didn’t see much of that this year, maybe the economy has affected quilting. After all, quilting evolved from hard scrabble times, when people threw nothing out. Every little scrap of fabric was saved and sewed together to make a usable blanket.

I call them rescue quilts. Here this woman lovingly quilts an old quilt top that someone had tossed. Small blocks of every color, pattern and hue. Simple and direct. Scrap quilts are still very popular at the faires I’ve attended, including this one.

Home and family are always subjects for quilts. I didn’t see many baby quilts at this year’s faire, but a new take on homes was this habitat quilt with housing from many countries. A thatched roof…

Houseboats…

City dwellers apartments. Different.

Bird houses have been all the rage in the last few years.

Families love to celebrate their loved ones in a quilt as in this 50th anniversary quilt.

Applique is considered a difficult quilt, small pieces, laboriously hand folded narrow edges. Old time appliques were subtle, and beautiful. New methods make applique easier, and new appliques are much more brightly colored with fabrics of great diversity as well.

Below is the whole affect, though not every block shows in the photo.

Pinwheels are an old time pattern. They make a beautiful quilt. The triangles were common scraps when making clothing and women learned to make quilts using pointed scraps.

The faire has many categories, such as wearable quilted pieces, wall hangings, dolls and other needlework. Women who sew, love it all.

This woman’s pants weren’t on display but it is common to find quilters at the faire wearing their own handwork.

This quilter provided a unique way to display buttons she liked.

The category for dolls brought this American Gothic entry.

This little wall hanging reminds me of Amish country, with quilts on the line. Fun!

And this abstract wall hanging is a different form of needlework. Beautiful.
For a look at my quilt photos click on the following link:
http://picasaweb.google.com/1579penn/102410Quilts#

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