STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a quilter, stitcher, traveler, photographer, gardener and lover of books, cats and fine chocolate....

Friday, August 1, 2014

Seeing Stars

It's time to wrap up my "coverage" of Maine Quilts 2014 with one last post about another Special Exhibit. The AQSG 2010 Study of 19th Century Star Quilts is a travelling exhibit- if it comes to a locale near you, make the effort to see it! How lucky we were to be able to view these incredible quilts. The American Quilt Study Group does biennial quilt studies- the 2010 study theme was 19th century stars. Quilts were created by copying (or using inspiration from) existing antique quilts. Each participant is asked to provide an image of their "inspiration quilt". Study quilts are limited to a 200" perimeter.
It was very interesting to read the "background story" on the creation of each quilt. I won't go into all the detail here, but here's one interesting little tidbit. Marti Phelps, creator of the first quilt shown below, is a docent at the Smithsonian. She enjoys showing two exquisite quilts from Kentucky on her tours. One was donated in 1981 by Bonita Abernathy, the great granddaughter of the quiltmaker. After finishing Silk Stars of the Bluegrass, Ms. Phelps located Ms. Abernathy, now 81 years old, to discuss the quilt.

Silk Stars of the Bluegrass, 35" x 35", by Marti Phelps, Prince Frederick, Maryland. All in silk!

Star Medallion: 200 Years Later, 48" x 48", Rรคgi Marino, Cedar Hill, Texas. Beautifully hand quilted!

Indigo Star of  Dinsmore, 34.5" x 34.5", Diane D. Livezey, Edgewood, Kentucky. More exquisite hand quilting.

Mennonite Lone Star, 49.5" x 49.5", Bobbi Finley, San Jose, California

Louise's Stars, 50" x 50",  by Nancy Ostman, Groton, New York. Here's another interesting story, too good not to share. Quoting directly from the card on the quilt:

"While documenting quilts at The History Center in Ithaca, NY, our study team was surprised by a bright, cheerful quilt; it seemed modern. But, indeed, it was old (1840-1857). The colors and fabrics made us curious.
The maker, Anne Marie Louise LePine Treman (1794-1857), lived as a girl on the Caribbean island of Saint Dominique with her French father, who disappeared during a general massacre. Disguised as an "orange" girl by family servants, she escaped on a merchant ship bound for New York. There, she was unable to find relatives. She ended up living with the  ship Captain's family. Later, Louise was recognized at Alexander Hamilton's funeral and reunited with her grandmother and brother.
I suppose that Louise's early life on Saint Dominique led her to choose bright colors for her quilt, speculating that the sky was dominant in her life on the island and at sea. When making the study quilt, I mostly used the brightest reproduction fabrics I could find, attempting to be true to Louise's choices of colors. I wondered how Louise found those bright fabrics in the 1800's, and if my impression of color from the era was distorted. I wondered if the bright quilt she made while living in central New York State was a refuge from the area's gray winters, as mine became. In my design, I tried to capture Louise's liveliness and sense of a big moving sky and to use many stars as she did."

Bethlehem Star, 36" x 36", Nancy Losee, Williamsburg, Virginia

EDIT: You can now view the quilt which won Viewer's Choice at Maine Quilts by clicking here.
No surprise, it was quilted by.... yes, you guessed it - Margaret Solomon Gunn.


"Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground." ~ Theodore Roosevelt


Dolores said...

I am glad that some of them at least, kept with tradition by hand quilting the quilts.

Gwen Buchanan said...

What an awesome treat for the eyes this show must have been!

Janet said...

A super treat to have attended this show. Thanks for sharing.

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