2010 Homestead Quilt Exhibit “People’s Choice” Reunion at Bob Evans Farms

In my experience, quilting has made me a better fashion sewer.  I don’t know why.  Possibly it is the constant practice in seaming that goes along with quilting.  Or it might simply be that taking a break from fashion sewing allows you to come back refreshed with some new ideas.  I have a great fondness for quilting and I love quilt shows.  To my delight I haplessly wandered in to two quilt shows this vacation.

The first was at the Dairy Barn Art Center, Athens, Ohio.  The Dairy Barn is exhibiting a collection of Amish quilts.  Admission was $6.00 per person and the show runs through September 6, 2010. Photography is not allowed at this exhibition.  Sorry I can’t provide any pics! 

Amish quilts are usually made up of simple designs with bright colors placed upon a dark background.  The dark backgrounds come from their outerwear, but surprisingly the bright colors are from Amish underwear!  I don’t know the significance behind these color choices in their clothing, but the stark contrast of color combined with the simplicity of design make for some visually stunning quilts.

The second show was at Bob Evans Farm in Rio Grande, Ohio.   

A side note – Throughout Appalachia we give due our British forebears by maintaining the Cockney habit of fiddling with name to show fondness, think Richard-Rick-Dick or Margaret-Meg-Peg.  We Ohioans love Latin, so much so that there are many towns bearing Latinate names.  But we can’t abide pronouncing it the way the Latins do.  Instead we fondly hammer it out in everyday phonetic American English. 
 So just to help you get your Ohioan on, the town is called (Reo Grand – the “a” spoken with the American short nasal “anh”, not “owh” as you might be tempted to fancy it up a bit.  The nearby city of Gallipolis is pronounced (Galli-police – accent on the police, as in the popo).  And deviations from such and the listener will gently insert the name into his or her next sentence with the “correct” pronunciation.  As a fellow Ohioan, I advise you to follow another famous Latin tradition, when in Rome…

The quilts are hanging in the upstairs portion of the Evans homestead.  Happily this is a very long-running exhibit going through December 23, 2010.   All of the quilts are award winners.  This is not a huge show but every quilt is outstanding quality and design. 

The quilts are the artistic property of their makers and I don’t want to infringe on that but I want to pique your interest by showing a small portion of a few of the quilts.

Helen R. Scott

Detail from "Memories" by Helen R. Scott

I read the Laura Ingalls Wilder classics during the 1970’s and the quilts of Helen R. Scott remind me of the illustrations in those editions.   It is as if Sunbonnet Sue grew up, gained some polish, while keeping her sense of humor. 

I sometimes agonize over my quilting choices.  When I saw Scott’s quilts I was admonished to lose the needless agony and allow the joy of it all to come through.   Scott has written an instructional book on her appliqué method called Bonnet Girls which can be purchased from Amazon.

Vikki Pignatelli

Detail from "After the Storm" by Vikki Pignatelli

I just about fell over when I saw this quilt because Pignatelli is one of my quilting heroes.  I was thrilled to see that she is a fellow Ohioan.  Her quilts flow and she has developed a clever appliqué method that compliments the bolder contemporary fabrics now available to quilters. She too has written two books on her method, Quilting Curves and Quilting by Improvisation, both which can be purchased from Amazon. 

Just a taste of two more quilts: I did not find a book or website on either of these quilters or I would have cited them for your referral. 

Evelyn Miller

Detail from "Baltimore Album, Dreams Do Come True" by Evelyn Miller

Miller has taken one of the most traditional of quilting patterns and used vivid modern fabrics that pop off the white backgrounds so the quilt retains its traditionalism but when you look close the colors are a shade richer than you often see.  I was also very taken with her three-dimensional flowers and butterflies.  I kept walking back to look at this quilt.

Marjorie Rogers

Detail from "Fantastic Challenge" by Marjorie Rogers

Rogers has taken the grandmother’s fan pattern and hooked it up to the kaleidoscope quilt concept.  The grandmother’s fan quilt is usually a very charming use of scraps, but Rogers quilt resembles the kind of fancywork fans a Victorian maiden might carry.

All of the quilts are outstanding and I have shown just a few. If you are in Southeastern Ohio or live nearby and have an interest in quilting I urge you to take a look at this show.

Next Post: August 10, 2010: Going to the Style Revue at the 2010 Ohio State Fair

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