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

Friday, October 21, 2011

Museum of the Shenandoah Valley Quilt Exhibit

   Daughters of the Stars: Shenandoah Valley Star Quilts and Their Makers   opened last night at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, VA.  I was lucky enough that a friend of mine who is a member, called to ask if I'd like to be her plus-one.  I'd received an invitation myself, but it was much more fun to go with a friend!  The exhibit is beautiful.  I features about 15 quilts made in counties of the Shenandoah Valley.  I highly recommend going to see the exhibit.

I took a few pictures (using my museum/no flash setting) before an aide told me that photography was not allowed.  Sigh.  I got almost all the quilts.

I originally found out about this show this past summer when a message was left at the historical society by the curator of the exhibit.  The president called me at home and said - museum, curator, quilt - will you please call him, I know you know about these things.  So, I called.  Turned out he was putting the exhibit together and they had yet to find an example of a star quilt from Berkeley County; was I familiar with one?  I answered in the affirmative.  Told him that a couple of years ago in the exhibit I put together at our museum, we'd had a beautiful one made in 1860.  So, long story short, I hooked him up with the owner, they worked things out and this quilt (which you may remember from my post back then) was hanging in a place of prominence in the gallery.

Quilt by Mrs. Gwilliams, Berkeley Co., VA 1860
Here are some of the other pictures I took -

 I absolutely love this one and may try and reproduce it.  In the center of the four stars is a white block with a signature on it - that's in each of the four-star blocks.  I'd make it without the signature blocks.  The lighter arms of the stars are done in beiges that nearly match the background.
 This one the green fabric was really wearing thin.  It may have been made of some exotic dress fabric or the green dye may have eaten away at the fabric.  The feathers are quilted and stuffed (trapunto)
 This is a church quilt with signatures in the centers of the blocks.  It's from Newtown (now Stephens City) Virginia.
This one was made in 1870 or 1880, but the information with it said it could have been made earlier.  It thought it was an absolute stunner for its colors.  It was also quite detailed.  If you look at the block at the top of this post, you can see that there are lots of little pieces in this block.  It was all hand pieced and quilted as were most of the quilts.  Note that in the border there are half square triangles, but the quilter was very cleaver, making a half square triangle out of two triangles and a square.  It made the color variation very interesting.

Hope you enjoyed!


  1. They are all gorgeous! I really like the one with the trapunto and I agree the last one is a stunner ~ the colors seem very appropriate for this time of the year. Thank you so much for sharing! The Museum looks like it would be a fabulous place to visit.

  2. Beautiful quilts! Glad you didn't get caught taking pictures until you had taken so many!

  3. Oh my gosh!! What stunning quilts. Thanks for sharing the pictures!


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