Tuesday, 12 August 2014

The American Museum - Quilts

One of the main attractions - aside from the Kaffe Fassett of course! - for me visiting the American Museum was to see the quilts.  There is a very large collection, and they are all beautiful.  I will not waffle on too much because what you really want to see is all that crafting - right!!

This quilt was AMAZING!!  It is made of the silk bands which used to hold bundles of cigars together, and is called - appropriately enough! - a Cigar Band Quilt.  Since I saw this I have looked a tiny bit more into them and apparently the silk used for the bands was not over a very good quality which adds to the fragility of them.  I also discovered from some online auction sites that these sell for a LOT of money and I can see why given the work that must have been involved in putting them together.

OK, so the picture above isn't exactly a quilt.  It is an image projected onto the floor.  You get to select three fabric patterns and a design and put them together on the computer and then your quilt is projected onto the floor.  I didn't totally like my design, but other people were waiting to have a go, so I didn't have another go, but it was fun to play.

The picture in the above goblet quilt is a reflection!

This is the most amazingly beautiful Baltimore Album Quilt.  Sadly it was quite hard to photograph, but the work and detail, patterns, colour, intricacy and so on is just amazing.  A word that I can (!) overuse, but it really does apply in this case.

Below is a Woven Candlewick bedspread which came from Connecticut and was made in the early 1800's.  It is a professionally woven piece.

I love patterned quilts of all styles, but I also find the detail in the stitching in the actual quilting part of the process very interesting, and this was unlike anything that I had seen before.

I am sorry that the picture of this house quilt is a bit blurry, but it was so unusual that I had share it.

Below you can see more amazing stitching work - and above!

The quilt above is from about 1840, and was made in Maryland.  This is an unusual quilt, because the hexagons are not all cut individually, in most cases three hexagons have been cut out together so that you reduced the number of seams needed.  Clever huh!

When I took the picture of the pennant quilt above I thought that they were all from places in Texas, but when I looked again when I got home I realised that they were not - the New Mexico one should have been a giveaway for starters shouldn't it!!  Oh, and that Los Angeles one as well!!!

Of all quilts the ones that I love the most are Hawaiian Quilts.  Until I lived in America many years ago, I had never seen anything like them, but I fell in love straight away and have loved them ever since.  The one above is a Ku'u Hae Alhoa Quilt (translated as My Beloved Flag), it is circa 1893 and is, of course!, from Hawaii.

Apparently the most treasured Hawaiian quilts are those that feature Hawaiian flag, and because of this the usually stay within the family of the maker.  This one features both the flag and royal coat of arms to pay homage to the Kings and Queens as well as to honour and memorialise the Hawaiian kingdom and the time during the 19th Century when it was independent. 

The quilt below is typical of Hawaiian quilts from the 20th Century.  It is based on a papercut design, where you fold a sheet of paper and cut out a pattern.  It is then accented by stitching which follows the shape of the cut out.


Another unusual quilt is the Lone Star Quilt above.  Made in 1983 it was made by Margaret Little Thunder, a Sioux Indian of Crazy Horse, South Dakota and includes the Cheyenne tipi into the points of the star.  In the middle the war bonnet is appliqued and has white feathers with black tips.

This isn't strictly a quilt, but it was very beautiful!  It is actually a Jacquard Coverlet from 1848, made in Bristol, Ohio - not Bristol, England!  It is woven in two widths from cotton and indigo dyed wool.  It bears an inscription with the name of the weaver, Benjamin Lichty Bristol Ohio.

There was also a large display of various Indian Blankets and other similar pieces, but I just couldn't photograph it all!  I am sure that if you get to visit you will enjoy them.

Sorry that I have been a bit absent lately.  I will explain more later in the week - Friday probably.  At the moment it isn't anything bad, so no need for any worry.  I have been reading your posts - although I am rather behind - but not always commenting, so don't worry, I am not missing totally.  I will catch up again at some point.

In the meantime, Hello!  I hope that all is well with you, thank you for all of your lovely, kind and thoughtful comments of late, sorry that I haven't replied very well, but I have read them all  I am still thinking of you and sending good thoughts to those in need of them - and the rest of you too!



  1. Hi Amy,

    What a lovely post on all of these pretty American quilts. It is obvious that so much work and creativity go into these works of art. I really like the basket of flowers; very unique, at least for me, as I have never seen anything like this. Thanks for sharing and I hope you are well.


  2. Hi Amy....
    Sorry I haven't visited lately....life gets in the way!
    Such beautiful quilts....great handiwork.
    I have several that were given to my kids when they were little...
    Perhaps I should wash them up, and give them to them....
    I took quilting years ago...made a few projects....then I started having kids...and had no time!
    I really need to start a few Christmas presents.....geesh!
    Enjoy your week...
    Talk soon
    Linda :o)

  3. Oh wow amazing Amy I really enjoyed looking at those quilts I would really love to visit there one day, thanks for sharing your photo's. Life does get a bit mad sometimes especially in the Summer, I don't have as much time these days either, everything seems to happen at once we can only do so much! :) xxx

  4. Just stunning! Words fail me!
    Ingrid x

  5. Just incredible! The piecing is amazing, but then the stitching is too. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I was drooling over all of those quilts! How creative is that pennant quilt and that blue and cream piece from 1848 is outstanding!! I got so much inspiration from this post for my current art piece I am working on!! Hope you are well friend and thanks for sharing!! Nicole xo

  7. Oh my goodness, a feast for the eyes. Such amazing talent in each and every quilt.

  8. I love these Amy! I always love quilts!!
    In this post someones are absolutely amazing.
    One of my favorite is this with roses:)
    Amy I love this post and love the pictures:)

  9. I attended a quilt show in Houston last year, and I was blown away by all the talent and the range of production of those magnificent quilts. Our local quilt guild one a first place award. That quilt is being raffled for the September quilt show here.

  10. Hi Amy, I know how you feel about time, there is just so many calls on our time. Love the quilt tour wonderful! I have to say I love the Anne Hathaway post too. Before I actually visited England, I believed all of England was like that!!!!! It is so great that there are patches of that timeless peace of English countryside still around.

  11. Hi Amy,

    So many talented and creative people around and loved seeing all the gorgeous quilts.
    Thanks for sharing and wishing you a happy week

  12. Wow, what an amazing visit, certainly a feast for the eyes, the hours that must have gone into some of those masterpieces, incredible. Have a great week.

  13. Hello Amy

    Oh my word what a visual display of colourful quilts. I especially love the Cigar Band Quilt, and I dread to think of the hours it must take to make any of them


  14. You have really caught the atmosphere well at the American Museum - on my visit I thought that the quilts had been displayed really well - for me, if I could take one, it would probably be the Baltimore.

  15. Wow, what amazing quilts, the cigar band looks quite fiddly to have made. So many hours must have gone into making each one. Thanks for sharing. I missed your birthday Amy, while I was on hols but I'm back now and wish you a very happy belated one! Xx

  16. What a beautiful collection of American quilts, Amy, and it is great you were permitted to photograph them. The redwork quilts always appeal to me, and the Lone Star is very unique and very American too. I think the last two are the prettiest - just gorgeous to have one of those in one's own home! Some of those Royal Hawaiian quilts were shown in Brisbane a few years ago, and they are really magnificent.

  17. Those quilts are amazing. If I went to see them I'd stand and stare at each one for a long, long time. Thanks for sharing. :o)

  18. Amazing work. I once read a fantastic book called the Persian Pickle Club about (amongst other things) quilting, the characters in the book nicknamed themselves the Stitch and Cackle Club, which always makes me smile when I think about it :-)

  19. So many beautiful quilts in this exhibition Amy. A lot of work and love has gone into each one. Thank you for sharing and also for your kind comment on my recent blog post, dear friend.

  20. Wow, what a wonderful place, full of quilts and crafts. Thanks for the tour. Take care.

  21. They're all lovely but my favourite is the Lone Star. Reminds me of my time in S. Dakota, many many years ago, panning for gold with Johnny One Feather!

  22. Hi Amy
    I saw your post the other day about the Kaffe exhibition and didn't get around to commenting - and I meant to say that you were so close to me Amy !! I literally live just up the road from the American Museum - if only I'd known we could have met up for a cuppa ! I'm hoping to go and see the Kaffe display in the next couple of weeks.
    The quilts are so amazing aren't they, so much intricate work.
    Kate x

  23. There's some fabulous quilts there. Can you imagine the many hours of work that's gone in to making them, no wonder they're such treasured items. I love that cigar band quilt, very clever indeed.

  24. What true masterpieces.
    I'm in awe.
    Oh the stories and love put into each treasure.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Woolie Blessings

  25. The rosebud quilt...aaaaaah!
    We once visited Vermont...so many quilts and quilted items,it was amazing..but you needed to be rich to buy them.
    Jane x

  26. Aren't they wonderful? You have brought back some memories for me of visiting the Museum many years ago when I was on the Bath Uni Campus for an OU Summer School. I thought it was fascinating then but there looks to be far more to see there now. Thanks for sharing your visit with us:)

  27. Very impressive! I love the ones with the people on them. All the best there, Amy xxx

  28. Thanks so much for sharing all these as I was supposed to go to this and wasn't able to at the last minute. The Baltimore Album Quilt is stunning - I always love those. That house quilt is interesting cos I have a coaster with that design from that quilt on it and have no idea who made the quilt or where it is from. Great post - lucky you. xCathy

  29. Beautiful quilts. My mother made that first one - the Lone Star quilt I believe it was called. She made hers out of brown and peaches.

  30. What a wonderful array of quilts! My favourite is the Baltimore quilt. I too have read the Persian Pickle Club - another name for Paisley pattern.

  31. Hi Amy, just back from my little break and trying to catch up too. Thanks for sharing these fab pics - looks like a great outing was had. Hope all's ok? Hugs xx

  32. Wow, those quilts are gorgeous, thank you so much for sharing them with us - my favourite is the Lone Star Quilt it is beautiful.

  33. I can never get enough of the quilts at the American Museum, and have been twice in recent years, and I loved seeing your Kaffe post the other day. There are some amazing quilts there, thanks for sharing Amy!
    Gill xx

  34. Gorgeous quilts! So much creativity and talent spanning many years!

  35. Absolutely stunning. I particularly like the cigar bands, the Indian one, the pennants and the last two. The penultimate one is fantastic. No doubt you had a wonderful day there. I really must visit again soon. CJ xx

  36. All of the quilts are absolutely beautiful, but I think my favorite is the goblet quilt. Thanks for sharing!

  37. Hi Amy, thank you for sharing these photos, the quilts are absolutely stunning and some of them look as though they're enormous - so much incredible work! I enjoyed your post on Anne Hathaway's Cottage too - I stayed in a little cottage in a hamlet a couple of hundred yards from there about three years' ago and it was the first on the list of our 'Shakespeare places to visit'. Will definitely go and see those quilts when next in Bath. Enjoy the rest of your week.
    Jane x

  38. Wow, stunning! I must go visit again soon...it's been too long. xxx

  39. Thank you for the quilt tour - it's made me all excited for the quilt show I'll be going to at the end of this month! x

  40. There are some truly amazing quilts in there. Very beautiful and totally beyond anything I could even dream of making.

  41. What an amazing place! There is something special about red and white quilts, but I have to say the quilt with the houses is my favourite. I can see it on my sofa... xx

  42. Thank you so much for posting all of these quilts Amy -- they're all so beautiful! And I'm sorry to hear about your parents dog -- I hope things have improved since your last posting about it. ;-(

  43. Wow, it's like being in quilt heaven! I bet you had such much fun walking around, looking at such fabulous designs. I do like the quilt with the houses on it an also the Indian quilt. I would love to make a quilt one day, it is definitely on my to do list. :)

  44. Amazing quilts, simply stunning. Hats off for those who were sewing them!


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