Friday, November 20, 2015

Nineteen Stars: Quilts of Indiana's Present and Past

There is currently a quilt exhibit at the Evansville Museum of Arts, History & Science in Evansville, IN. The exhibit opened on October 24 and runs through January 10, 2016. NINETEEN STARS: QUILTS OF INDIANA’S PRESENT AND PAST, begins the museum’s celebration of Indiana’s upcoming Bicentennial. The theme is drawn from the 19 stars depicted in the state flag that commemorate Indiana’s position as the 19th state to join the Union. I had the opportunity to go to the exhibit today. If you live close enough to check it out, please do so. We need to get the word out that fiber arts are appreciated and that people are willing to come to the museum specifically to see fiber art. If you would like more information about the exhibit or museum, click here.

If you are a fiber art lover, you know you need to see these in person--looking at pictures just doesn't do the pieces justice. These were some of my favorites from the show.

There were very old lone star and lone star variation quilts. This one by Rachel Rardin from Greenfield, IN, is dated from 1835-1843. The quilting on this quilt is specifically mentioned on the information about the quilt. It says, "Besides the perfectly flat central star, unusual (and difficult) diamond border and survival of easily-faded purple dye, this quilt is also notable for its quilting, a formidable eleven stitches to the inch in white or blue-green thread (depending on the hue of the face fabric) through a very thin batting.

This quilt is called Stars Upon Stars and was made between 1913-1919.

This Blazing Star Quadrant Quilt was made between 1860-1880.

I took a close up of this quilt; the quilting was FABULOUS.

This is a lone star made by Anna Chupp Miller from Goshen, IN. It is dated 1930.

It is amazing to me that women 100 years ago could make such masterpieces, and that the work would survive in such good shape considering the tools (or lack of tools) they had to use. I'm sure many of them worked like my grandmother by cutting templates from thin cardboard/brown paper/sandpaper, cutting out quilt pieces with scissors (no rotary cutters back in the day), piecing by hand, and quilting by hand. I'm floored by the talent of these quiltmakers.

Over the next few days, I'll share some more quilts from the exhibit. There are string stars, Amish stars, and very modern stars yet to share with you.



Lisa Greenbow said...

It is good to know this exhibit it so close. I will try to get to it. I love reading about all the intricately made quilts. Those small pieces are what would make me crazy. Amazing to me how they could bring them all together and make something so beautiful.

Robbie said...

Wow!! But where would we be without these amazing quilters from the past!!! Amazing quilting!!! Thanks for sharing. I'm going to let my DIL know about the exhibit.

Dana Kroeger said...

I am amazed of the beauty of these quilts from that time. I thought the quilts were made strictly for functionality. The owners of these quilts should feel priviledged to own such works of art.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this information. I love quilts like that - they've always been my favorites at shows. Of course, today's shows are almost all new quilts, but in the beginning of the show idea, it was antique quilts which were shown, for the most part, and I loved them. I smiled when reading your post. I've been quilting since way before the advent of the rotary cutter, and cut out many pieces by hand, after drawing around my templates. I had metal templates of various types, or used old bleached x-rays for plastic material. I had heard that cardboard would wear away when traced around a lot so I should have several templates of that if I chose to use it.

Isn't it funny how much we take for granted now? Even though I quilted that way for about 11 years before the rotary cutter came along in 1979. I still remember buying my first one and thinking how fabulous it was! My mat was 1/8" soft white plastic, not quite solid, not quite see-through. It lasted many years until I had to buy a new one and started with the green ones --- about 13 years, I think, remembering my son's age at the time.

Barbara Triscari said...

I'm so glad the exhibit traveled closer to you. I really enjoyed it in Indy. I saw it multiple times and each time I noticed different things and enjoyed it each time. So inspirational.

Anonymous said...

Oooh, even better stars. I'm not likely to ever make this kind of feathered tininess, so I really love to see them.