Monday, July 2, 2018

Singular Fascination: One Piece Quilts

The International Quilt Study Center & Museum has several shows featuring antiques this summer. Jennifer Keltner has curated an exhibit of a small part of the collection---quilts with small pieces. Most of these were collected by Ardis James.

Singular Fascination is in the galleries through August 30, 2018.

I took photos with a pencil held about an inch away as a gauge. I'd guess many of the patches
in the quilts are one inch, true postage stamp size.

One Patch, Possibly from Pennsylvania, About 1870-1890,
86" x 77". From the James Collection, #2006.043.0064

Birds in the Air, Possibly made by Mary Linderburger, New Jersey. 

 83" x 86". About 1880-1900. James Collection. #1997.007.0731

While Ardis James and many of us are fond of these patchwork feats, the editor of the Chickasaw Mississippi Messenger was not. In 1888 his opinion:
"There is no use publishing any more items about the wonderful quilts made by industrious young ladies, for the the question has been definitely settled in favor of Miss Mary Sewell, a sweet 16-year-old young lady who resides near Chattanooga [and] has pieced a quilt [with] 45,966 scraps in it. It is fearful to think a mind may also go to pieces fastened so long to such useless work. The quilt when completed will be no better for use than the $2 quilt made of plain material."
He seems to miss the point.

Belle Ross, Coffeyville, Kansas
About 1950-1975. 72" x 92" James Collection:
Possibly this woman: Ruby Belle Ross Witte (1903-1972)

Log Cabin, About 1890-1910, possibly New England.
 From the James Collection, 
86 x 77 Inches. #1997.007.0114

Trip Around the World by Ida Pricilla Williams Giebner Moore, (1873-1942)
 Kansas City, Kansas. 78" x 87"
 Gift of Green and Louise Giebner IQSC# 2010.057.0001

Here's the label the family put on the back before they donated it.

The quilt has fabrics that indicate a date of about 1890-1910, which
correlates with the family history of about 1900. Ida was married to
John Geibner in 1888 and they divorced about 1900. She remarried in 1904
to Thomas Moore.

Read more about the exhibit here:
Scroll down to see Works in the Exhibition.

Watch a YouTube video of Jennifer discussing the quilts.

See a blog post I did a few months ago on the topic of tiny pieces:

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