The quilts dated from 1600's to late 1800's. Each quilt was chosen because it represented some of the needlework trends or unique fabric of the time. Many of them were truly masterpieces. They exist today because they were treasured by their families and lightly used. Because they do not allow photography I have no pictures to show you. There is a current book about the collection called Quilts in a Material World by Linda Eaton.
When I saw the first quilt, I was struck with the thought, beauty, originality and huge size of the work. Here we are, quilting in America, with the greatest fabrics, threads and machines in the history of humanity. We need to be producing fantastic quilts with more love thought and commitment! Many of us have forgotten how satisfying it is to finish a quilt that we have made ourselves. Because I love quilting so much, it is hard for me to understand why so many of us send their quilts out for someone else to finish.
Some of the early handwork and embroidery was every bit as perfect as some of our computer aided embroidery and quilting. These women created these quilts, with no books, patterns or fancy equipment. Their problem solving in areas with funny corners or border ideas were amazing. Many of the quilt makers represented, achieved great visual appeal with so few resources. There is much to be learned from looking at their work.
To sum up this Winterthur exhibit:
- There was great pride in quality of handwork
- Originality of design
- Large scale bed pieces
- Examples included: whitework, broiderie perse, applique, trapunto, hand piecing, embroidery all using silk, cotton, wool or linen fabrics and thread.