Monday, September 6, 2010

Study Day, Part II

After lunch in the church basement, and a check of the silent auction items, we met at the Richland County Museum. The museum was originally built in 1850 as a school. We were given a tour of the museum, which included antique wedding gowns, quilts, and 1830-1860 coverlets.

This is a plum silk brocade wedding dress worn by Margaret Dunshee in 1835. It features bishop sleeves, ruching, and pleating, as well as other decorative touches.

This is an 1860-62 plaid silk taffeta gown with double pagoda sleeves and a full cartridge pleated skirt.

The museum had quite a collection of coverlets and quilts displayed.

And then I turned to my right, and had to stop and do a double take when I saw this The Apotheosis of Benjamin Franklin and George Washington toile, which features George Washington in a chariot, and Ben Franklin in a fur cap!

Here is a picture of the same print, from the Collection of Robert Staples and Barbara Fahs Charles, which was included in the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary Exhibition 2005-2008. This is a copperplate print on cotton, and dates from 1785-1800. It was printed in sepia, red, and purple, that I've been able to find reference to, as well as a pink version printed in England in 1800 for the American Market.

After the museum tour, we all gathered in the church again for a talk by Virginia Gunn entitled "Nineteenth-Century Quilts and Woven Coverlets: Relationships of Style Shaped by Sharing a Visual Language." This talk explored the relationship between coverlets designs and pieced and appliqued quilt patterns. Here are Xenia Cord and Sharon Pinka displaying a red and green quilt illustrating the motifs common in early woven coverlets.

For further study of red and green quilts and their motifs, Xenia recommended The Quilted Garden, by Ricky Clark. I ordered it, since I am researching red and green quilts for my local Quilt History Study Group's Red and Green quilt exhibit at our upcoming quilt show, and it's a very informative and enjoyable book.

Virginia illustrated her talk with another amazing array of coverlets. Here she is showing a blue and white quilt with a grapevine border.

Notice leaves and berries alternating from side to side.

Here she shows a coverlet with the same pattern.

Laid side by side, you can see the influence of the coverlet's design on the quilt's border.

Virginia had charted the known coverlet weavers of Ohio on a map, and it just so happened that Mansfield, near where the Study Day was held, was the center of coverlet weaving in Ohio in the early 1800's. She then gave us a history of the weavers, with examples of their work. Prominent among them were the Meilly and Mellinger families. Meilly patterns were frequently purchased by weavers starting out. As their skills grew, they sometimes altered the patterns, or added totally new design elements of their own. It was fascinating to see how the designs were copied and altered from weaver to weaver.
Here she shows a coverlet woven by Charles Meilly.

Here is my favorite coverlet of the day, featuring peacocks. I just couldn't get enough of it, it was so stunning! Notice the double border.

Here is another "bird feeding it's young" example, with a floral border.

This is a photo I would ordinarily not include because it is such a terrible picture, but this was such an important coverlet for the presentation, that I'm showing it until I can, hopefully, locate a better picture from someone else who was there. The coverlet looked like the entire thing was made of half square triangles! It was amazing to see, and hard to believe it was woven, and not pieced. I hope you can get some idea from my picture.

It was a wonderful presentation, and very informative. I've only touched briefly on the weaver's and how the designs evolved because I was so absorbed I didn't take many notes. I'm interested in learning more about coverlets and weavers, and just received the book American Coverlets and Their Weavers, by Clarita Anderson, which was recommended to me, and I can't wait to read it.

Next we had show and tell, and saw more amazing quilts. I know I've used the words amazing and stunning way too much in my narrative, but let me tell you, I WAS amazed and stunned most of the time!
Diane Livezey brought this to show.

Kimmie Humrichouser brought two quilts to share. One was a silk log cabin variation.

And the other, this red and green Princess Feather.

Notice the alternating leaf and berry border.

Sandy Rice brought this Princess Feather.

And then there was a huge gasp as Donna Stickovich unfurled this. Notice I don't use the words amazing or stunning here, simply because no words can describe seeing this in person.

The center chintz motif is called "Hunt Cornucopia," or "Trophy at Arms," and is c. 1825.

A close-up of one of the broderie perse motifs.

The quilt I most wanted to take home, other than Donna's, but I'm trying to be realistic, is one Xenia brought. I took dozens of photos, but none does it justice. It shown like a jewel to me, the colors were so bright, and the fabrics so interesting. The close-up at the beginning of this post is from this quilt. The background is one solid piece, no seams!

My pictures aren't the best, as they were all taken while the quilt was folded over a pew, but they will give you an idea of the fabrics.

The Study Day was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I hope I was able to convey some of that feeling to you in my posts. I would like to thank Xenia Cord, Virginia Gunn, and Sharon Pinka for all the hard work they put into making this a truly memorable day!


Hilda said...

Oh Lisa - absolutely "amazing and stunning" indeed! You lucky lady to be there - and very kind to share it all with us again. The fabrics in that last quilt and the broderie perse are breathtaking - and so well preserved.

Kathie said...

what an incredible study day you attended. I love red and green applique antique quilts and have studied them as well. The book by Ricky clark is amazing, one of my favorites.
Lately I have been interested in coverlets and yes the inspiration from them made into quilts or vise versa...I LOVED seeing the border example here in your post, what a wonderful example and way to really study what was happening in those times with quilt patterns. I also love the quilt from Donna what an incredible beauty and yes I would have wanted to take home the same quilt! oh my the fabrics in this is amazing and how they still are so brilliant today. how incredible that the background was one piece...just beautiful.
so many of the quilts you shared are beautiful to me
Princess feathers are one of my top favorite patterns so it was special seeing these as well
thanks for sharing your day with us and yes I ordered the coverlet book, thanks for the suggestion.
any other book suggestions?

Anonymous said...

I'm hyperventilating here in front of my laptop! First gasp was over the stunning Prussian (?) blue in the first sunflower block. I wish someone would create a line of reproductions that capture such intensity of colour. Everything you've shown us in your post is gorgeous...what an incredible experience. Lucky lucky you!

Miriam said...

Thank you for sharing those photographs with us.
The broderie perse quilt is amazing and the last quilt.........breathtaking!

ann hermes said...

I wish I were there to see all those wonderful quilts and coverlets. I never thought about the relationship bewteen the designs in coverlets and quilts before. So interesting. Thanks for sharing the photos!

Lori said...

Wow! What a wonderful opportunity to see all these gorgeous quilts and coverlets. As far as the coverlets I'm head over heels about the blue and white peacock too! The colors are still so vivid.
I loved seeing the comparison of quilts and coverlets. Thanks again for such a wonderful informative post.
Xenia's quilt and the fabric are truly beautiful!!

Nancy said...

This has been such a treat, seeing the quilts through your photos. The colors have remained so vibrant, and "amazing and stunning" about sums it up. I'm drawn to those Princess Feathers, but the one you love... the compass-style Sunflower.. is spectacular. oops.. I mean stunning and amazing. And the plaid taffeta gown is really something, but that mannequin display.. just a little bit creepy. The museum might want to think about not scaring its visitors!

Beth said...

Lisa, thank-you for taking the time, and the pictures, to share so much of this with us. It must have been a true sensory overload for you; I am amazed (there's that word!) at all of the colors, and the diversity of design.

Hope you had a good Labor Day weekend!


Meredith said...

Thank you for taking your time to share all of this with us. I appreciate it. The photos and the information give me goose bumps. I often think of the women and the love they stitched in the quilts. The colors are fab and really lovely. That first blue photo.

Janet said...

Incredible and stunning! What an amazing day and how special to see the costumes. I have the ricky Clarke book and it is well worth having. I loved the blue and white, the red and greean but the Sunflower is really special too. How lucky you got to see a chintz quilt, I would have oohed and ahed over that one.

YankeeQuilter said...

Looks like an amazing day...thanks for sharing all the photos!

Sue said...

It truly was an amazing day for you. Incredible quilts and coverlets and your enthusiasm shines through. Thank you so much for sharing your day with us. Fabulous- a word you didn't use.

Dorothy said...

What wonderful quilts. Thank you for all the close up photos so that I could get a good look at them.

Lee Prairie Designs said...

Wonderful display of quilt--- lots of history goes along with them! Thanks for sharing.


Taryn said...

Thank you for the detailed narrative and pictures. How I wish I'd been there but you certainly did it justice for those of us who weren't. Those quilts are truly magnificent. The fabrics are pristine!