Monday, January 13, 2014

Historical Quilts and Reproduction Fabrics

I have been super into historical quilts lately. I am fascinated by the stories behind them and the women who created them. I came across two YouTube videos (part one and two) by Eleanor Burns. They are called "Quilts from the Underground Railroad." Apparently quilts from that time were "coded" and used to navigate escape from slavery. For example, the Monkey Wrench Quilt was the first quilt displayed as a signal to gather your supplies and prepare for the escape. I don't think this concept was validated by historians, but who care!? I love the idea of it. I am tempted to make a collection of these quilts.

I visited the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles not too long ago. Although those were not related to Underground Railroad, I enjoyed seeing some historical quilts. I wasn't super into the textiles. Some of my favorites:

 "Log Cabin, Courthouse Steps Variation, c. 1900. Unknown maker. Hand and machine pieced, hand and machine quilted."

 "Job's Troubles, c. 1925. Sarah Shields Cross (1856-1940). Hand pieced and quilted"

Here is a close-up of the hand quilting. It's simply beautiful. 

"Tumbling Blocks, c. 1900. Unknown maker. Hand pieced and quilted."

What did I learn from my visit you ask? You must label your quilts! The makers spent hours working on these quilts, but we will never know their names. 

If historical quilts weren't enough, I coincidentally read "The House Girl" this past week. It's all about escaping slavery in 1850. Now is that enough history or what!?

I am working on a small wall hanging using reproduction fabrics. I will share a photo with you soon!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to seeing it!!