A special surprise from my daughter this week was a trip to the Little Rock, Arkansas Historic Art Museum’s storage building. There the museum attendants unrolled some beautiful quilts from the mid 1800’s. I thought I would share some of my observations.
The quilts were wrapped in tissue paper over a pole three quilts on each pole.
They informed me the goal is to wrap them in the opposite direction every couple of months so that they don’t get continually bend in one direction … not always easy to do though with so many quilts. As far as personal quilts they recommended wrapping them, or storing them in a cotton bag or pillowcase, with archaic tissue paper, making sure you refold them often so they don’t get permanent creases. I always try to fold mine on the bias where the fibers are stronger.
The hand quilting on these quilts was amazing. Some very tiny stitches, and pretty consistent in length and spacing. The quilting designs were fairly simple. Some clamshells, V-formations, grids and feathers.
This quilter used trapunto to accent the quilted feather and flower design. I can’t imagine the patience that took. I’m happy that today we can use wool batting to puff our feathers!
I took a good look at how the quilts were binded too. Most of them had a curved binding eliminating the need to miter the corners, but they had to be gathered slightly to ease in the fabric.
One used strips of binding and overlapped the corners. Each give a very different feel to the quilt. Each quilt was beautiful in it’s own way. I loved looking at the fabrics. Some were scrappy, some used solid fabrics with just a few colors, there were redworked, appliquéd, pieced, each uniquely beautiful and special. It was a delightful day and a great surprise gift from my daughter Susanna.