Winterthur: Galleries, Part II


  Although initially our focus was drawn to the amazing quilts in the gallery, the other textiles displayed couldn’t be ignored, especially with an indigo resist taking up a large part of the display. This amazing linen textile was made in Berks County, Pennsylvania approximately 1780 – 1830. Hanging beside the indigo resist was dress fabric from the Coromandal Coast, 1775-1800. The design was created by hand instead of being block printed. The fabric bears the mark on the back of United East India Company. Additional fabrics, including one printed by Bromley Hall in this Banyan held my attention. Needlework on display was also an important contribution to the collections. Both men and women were employed in professional workshops creating amazing clothing and furnishings. A sample of whitework from New York was also included. All...
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Penn Dry Goods Market


Our first glimpse of the fun about to come was before breakfast, where Kay noticed a local newspaper called "The Fishwrapper", a salute to history even in the title. Think back, or if you don't have first hand knowledge, research what items would have been sold at an old dry goods store. That is the focus of the Penn Dry Goods Market held annually at the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center. The market itself is a glimpse of treasures brought by various vendors selling their wares of quilts, books, buttons, and bows. Vendors are required to have a majority of their wares in the textile category. Besides the antique vendor show, there are two days of special lectures on textiles as well as the history of textiles. This year I was honored to present the...
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The Mary Schafer Collection: A Legacy of Quilt History


This exhibition is a combination of quilts made by or collected by Mary Schafer a quilter that helped keep quilt studies alive between WWII and the revival of quilting in the 1970’s. During her lifetime, she was involved in many aspects of the quilt world including: collecting, designing, quilting and preserving quilting traditions. Her legacy is found in some of today’s quilters, such as Joe Cunningham and Gwen Marston who wrote the book, "Mary Schafer and her Quilts." Gwen Marston also wrote “Mary Schafer, American Quilt Maker.” She was honored by the Quilters’ Hall of Fame in 2007, shortly after her death. Two quilt names by Mary caught my eye because of the stories associated with the block. First, Lafayette Orange Peel, which was derived from the myth of Lafayette slicing an orange into 4...
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Quilts: the Next Layer


The Chester County Historical Museum has a wonderful exhibition, “Quilts: The Next Layer.” The exhibition was offered in two different rotations, providing access to a wider number of quilts. We visited when the second rotation was on display which continues until July 12, 2017. Considering we were viewing the exhibition in Pennsylvania, it was no surprise that a variety of red and green quilts were on view. In direct contrast to the traditional quilts was a painted silk which commemorated the local Women’s Christian Temperance Union from the late 1800’s. A striking un-washed Mathematical Star of chintz, with the sheen still visible was another surprise. My favorite was a friendship quilt for Martha Thomas. The quilt fully reflected the Chester County heritage, with the names narrowing the locale to the eastern part of the county....
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Treasures on Trial!


  We were on a recent research trip to explore indigo resist textiles of Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library. However, we decided to take some time to explore the house, galleries, and gardens. While not strictly a “quilt” event, the house is full of textiles and treasures not to be missed. For more information on Winterthur, follow this link . Henry Francis du Pont created a premier museum of decorative arts. He wanted to emphasize the American style in collecting and throughout the 175 rooms in the house. Even after his death the collecting continues, now overseen by curators of the highest level of expertise. Those curators have set up a coordinating exhibit - Treasures on Trial: The Art and Science of Detecting Fakes. The viewers are given the opportunity to test their own ability...
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