Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Quilts Left Behind

This morning I set about sorting out the antique Welsh and English quilts that will go with me to the lecture at the Pacific West Quilt Show on Friday.  I know that particular quilts need to to go because they're the 'stars' of the collection and so I set about seeing how many of them will fit into the large suitcase with wheels.  Once in a while, I'd lift the suitcase to see how heavy it was getting because while it may have wheels, I still need to be able to get it in and out of the back of my car.  I juggled quilts between the suitcase and a large duffle bag which doesn't have wheels and it didn't take long to realize that I had to cut way back on what I could take to show because the large duffle bag would be out of the question if I had to carry it for any distance at all. 

So, two of my original Welsh quilts, an English Strippy and the gold Sanderson Star made it into the suitcase and a smaller duffle that can ride on top of the suitcase.  I still need to pack the other wheeled suitcase that my own small quilts will travel in and I figure I'll have to make two trips to and from the car.  There's no room for any more of the wonderful antique quilts. 

One of the quilts to be left behind is a beautiful English quilt.  It has a large gold sateen center framed by a wide floral printed border.  The quilting radiates out from the center and large English feathers run around the outer border area.  The unique thing about this quilt for is that the quilting design ignores the piecing.  It's a quilt you need to see to appreciate, it can't be described in a few words.

Another quilt that won't make the trip is the third Welsh quilt that I bought from Jen Jones.  This quilt is faded and very worn but the Welsh quilting patterns on it are great, it would have a interesting addition to the lecture.

The green and pink Welsh strippy won't make the trip either.  I call this quilt my Desperation Quilt, it's a product of hard times in Wales.  From a modern perspective, the quilt is ghastly.  It's pieced from forrest green and bubble gum pink strips, unusual colors, even for Wales.  The quilting on it is crude but there is a design that is easily recognized as Welsh but it's been stitched in heavy red thread and the knots weren't buried, they're all over the quilt.  And while the circle quilted in the center may have been marked to start with, I think the entire rest of the quilt was quilted freehand because the quilting lines are all over the place.  The quilt has old clothing, probably wool, inside of it.  I figure that somebody needed a bed covering so this quilt was made to do the job.  It's very primitive but I love it, it's one of those quilts that I wish could talk and tell me about the people who made it.

I'd love to take more of the quilts but the problem for this lecture in Tacoma is that I'm really not sure how far I'll have to tote the quilts from my car into the convention center.  I've been assured that there is plenty of parking but that isn't very reassuring on the first morning of a major quilt show which expects to draw a large crowd. 

I'd like to make all my old British quilts available for people to see and study, there's a lifetime's inspiration in them.  One of my ideas is to do a workshop of sorts.  I'd do a session where people could study the quilts up close, one at a time.  Then we could do a workshop on how to mark the quilt top.  If you're interested, let me know.

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