Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Look Back at North Carolina's Quilting Heritage

If you ever glance at the sidebar of my blog, you will notice a new award today: Top 100 Quilters Blogs! I'm not sure what I did to earn this recognition, but I'll take it! Not only am I on the first page, but I'm number three. Probably something to do with alphabetical order, LOL!

On to the wrap-up of the Ashe County Piecemakers Quilt Guild Show last weekend in West Jefferson, North Carolina. I really enjoyed my quick visit to see these quilts and the vendors. One of the vendors was Karen Comstock of Raleigh, a member of my own guild. She has a fabulous line of quilt patterns called Quiltricks, and had a large display at the vendor mall. I most recently blogged about her trunk show at Etc. Crafts in Cary, NC.

I certainly enjoyed the large exhibit of antiques at the show. Mountain people have a long quilting heritage, going back to the times when women suspended a frame on the farmhouse or cabin ceiling, and lowered it down by pulleys at night to add stitches to the quilts they made to keep their families warm. My husband's family from Rutherford and Cleveland counties in North Carolina had some quilters, but the descendants did not value these homemade "blankets" that were passed down. I think that during the depression, people had to make do with "homemade," when they could not afford store-bought. My late mother-in-law used her family quilts to pad furniture in the moving van, or to sit on at the beach. There were only two left when we cleared out her household. One was being used under the mattress on the convertible sofa bed. That one was in rags. The other I have restored as much as possible. It had many brown "age spots" or water marks that I finally reduced after many efforts with a paste made from denture cream! I will have to get some photographs of those quilts and the hooked rug made by my husband's grandfather.

So, it was delightful to see some treasured family heirlooms that have survived the generations. Here are some of the assembled vignettes of times past at the quilt show.

Here is an old chair and painted table. The china teacups brought back memories of my own mother's collection of dainty cups and saucers, which miraculously remained intact even in a family with seven rambunctious children.


The quilt on the left reminds me of one of my heirloom quilts, and the green one in the middle is much like a quilt top that my sister-in-law's grandmother made and I quilted.

They certainly had an array of hooked rugs to show with these charming old quilts.


And some braided ones, too. Look at the lovely Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt on the rack. And the card table cover and napkins...I have inherited several embroidered card table covers from both Charlie's grandmothers and my own. Bridge, anyone?


And here is my favorite of the antique vignettes...with a beautiful old Singer treadle sewing machine.

Great show, Ashe County quilters!

1 comment:

Tonya's Sewing Room said...

I had no idea Ashe county had a quilt show. I'm in Wilkes county. I need to find a way to find out these things. I've never been to a quilt show.