Needlework, Finishing, Designing, Quilting, Some Discoveries and Adventures in Stitching from Windy Ridge Designs

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Things I Do

Haven't posted recently, because I've been so busy with outside obligations.  The biggest was the Heritage Day display I put on for the Berkeley County Historical Society.  To read about what Heritage Day is, check out this article in the local paper, the Martinsburg Journal

My part was to put on a quilt display at our county museum, the Belle Boyd House.  The display was called Quilts of Berkeley County.

Left: 50 States embroidered quilt squares by Mrs. Folk in 1975

Back in January I put out a call to our membership, who called all their friends and we had a total of 32 quilts loaned to us for the one day show.
 Although we have several quilts in our collection I wanted the public to see quilts that had never been displayed before - the ones that folks keep in their closets at home.

Right: Daffodil Quilt by Mrs. Needy in the 1940's.

Several of the quilts were made prior to 1900.  The only caveat that we had for the display was that the quilts had to be made in Berkeley County.
Left: Nine Patch Plus by Mrs. Burkhart; 1950

The system I developed was that an owner brought their quilt in and completed a loan form that included information about the quilts and quiltmakers as well as the pertinent information, how to contact the owner, etc.  Then I took pictures of the documentation with the quilt and the quilt by itself.  Not the whole quilt, just part of it; for identification purposes.  And, it's a good thing I did that, because I was so busy on the day, I never did get around to take pictures of the quilts on display in our beautiful museum.
Right: Cancer Strikes All by Mrs. Johnson; 2000 to 2006.  Inspired by her work with cancer patients and a man with breast cancer that she met; therefore she used the Bow Tie block.

Another thing that I requested was that the owners bring a photograph of the person that made the quilt - if that was at all possible.  I am happy to say that most of the quilts were accompanied by pictures of their makers.  What resulted from all that information gathering, plus a little family research on my part, was an information sheet that was displayed with each quilt.  The sheet told as much about the maker as possible (birth, marriage, death and any anecdotal information); quilting technique used and the photo.

Left: Dogwood Bouquet by Mrs. Kirchner; 2006.  When she lived in Texas, her east coast daughter would call and say the "dogwoods are blooming" and it became such a ritual with them, she turned it into a quilt for her; finishing it after she'd moved here.

Our newsletter will go out in July and I'm going to request that anyone who got pictures of the quilts on display please send them to me, but for now, I will share the earlier photos I took to identify the quilts.

Right: Feathered Star by Mrs. Gwilliams; 1860                                                                               
 Not all 32 at once though.  That might be a bit overwhelming.  I will also leave out the ones that I put into the pile for two reasons.  One, I would like to spotlight the other peoples quilts and two, you've either already seen mine or will see them in the future.  Also, there were two Crazy Quilts in the display.  I took a lot of pictures of each of them and think that they each deserve a blog post of their own in future weeks.  So this post consists of the others that don't fall into either of those categories. 

Left:  Quilted white space from Feathered Star quilt. 

At the end of the day, all the quilts came down.  Most are so treasured by their owners that they were picked up that afternoon!

It was a lot of work putting this together; especially in the last week leading up to Heritage Day.  The results, however, were totally worth it.  Hope you've enjoyed seeing these little glimpses.

Left:  Patchwork in Satin and Seersucker by Mrs. Hovermale; 1959.

Left: Grandma Janet's Backyard by Mrs. Kirchner; 2009.  When her mother passed away, she found a box of embroidered quilt squares - all kinds of birds.  She designed a rendition of her mother's backyard, including a tree (not shown).  Then she appliqued the scene and placed the birds about the yard and in the tree.  It is a beautiful piece of artistry.

Left: Dresden Plate by Mrs. Chapman; 1930's.  The owner's grandmother was a tailor (or was that seamstress for a woman?)  At any rate, her ability with a needle is showcased in this quilt.

Left: Raffle Quilt by the Piecemaker's Quilt Guild of Berkeley County; 1994

Left: Patchwork dated to approximately 1950.

Left: Nine Patch with Banding and Wholecloth Border made by M. Seibert; 1828 - 1854.  This quilt has an interesting history.  It is signed M. Seibert.  Only problem is there were two of those in the family.  The date is the time period the lives of the two women overlap.  Makes this the oldest quilt that was on display.

Left:  Tree of Life by Mrs. Mummert; 1996.  Hand appliqued and quilted.  This was my favorite quilt because I just loved the colors.  The story is even sweeter.  The husband's mother bought the kit to make it for him.  Then she was diagnosed with breast cancer and treated with radiation.  But, she was over-radiated and lost the use of her left arm (she was left handed).  The wife stepped in and made the quilt for her husband.  She said she was so tired of the little pieces near the end that she was ready to give up.  So, the husband organized all the little pieces and all she had to do was tell him what piece she needed and he'd supply it.  She made the quilt in four months.

Left:  Violets; same quiltmaker as above; made over a ten year period 1980 - 1990.  Each square was cross stitched then put together to form the quilt top and hand quilted.  We had two of these in the display, but I only photographed this one.  The other was birds.

Hope I haven't bored you.  I think that all these women were/are absolutely incredible!


  1. Thank you so much for sharing these quilts...what a wonderful display it must have been. Love that the quilts ranged from antique to contemporary!

    Can't wait to see more!

  2. Amazing quilts. I wish I could have seen them in person. You have been very busy indeed.

  3. Katherine, thanks for taking me a long on a visual journey to see beautiful artistry that I couldn't see in person. Beautiful, beautiful work. I love the personal stories behind them, too. I think the dogwood quilt is my favorite, just because I know what it's like to miss seeing a part of home. :)

  4. I'll tell Carol you said so - she got a little weepy when she told me the story.


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