zondag 4 oktober 2015

St.Marie aux Mines: Loving logcabins (6)

My logcabin
As you can see at my blog, there was so much to see in France this year. And you know, I love old tradtional quilts. Well one of the best places to go was the Theatre in St. Marie aux Mines. An exposition of antique and new logcabins.

Logcabins are very special to me.

The first antique quilttop I bought (with my personal shopper Marne from Seattle) was a logcabin quilttop from the '30s. It took me about a year to finish it. But what a great fun.

I think the logcabin is a very intriguin pattern representing the sorrows and happines of life. Traditionally half light, half dark, with the yellow or red center.

What I also like about antique quilts is comparing the patterns and fabrics with my own collection of antique quilts. Dating fabric is one of the hardest things when you have old quilts and when you don't know who made the quilt.


New logcabin

Log Cabin quilts first made a wide-spread appearance in the United States in the 1860s during the time of the Civil War. The block name may very well have had a connection to the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. The Log Cabin quilt became wildly popular and was identified with the pioneer spirit and values of America. (Source: http://www.quiltviews.com/log-cabin-quilts-a-short-history)

dinsdag 29 september 2015

St. Marie-aux-mines: Amish Quilts (5)

If you prefer traditional quilts there is still enough to see in St. Marie-aux-Mines. In the 'Eglise des Chaines' (church) was a very interesting exhibition with Amish Quilts. We are spoilt this year, because there is also a beautiful exposition about Amish Quilts in the 'De Pont Museum' in Tilburg.

There is a special connection between the Amish and St. Marie-aux-Mines. Jacob Amman (bishop)   one of the founders of the Amish lived in this valley. He was born in 1644. We don't know to much about him but in practical matters, he stood opposed to long hair on men, shaved beards, and clothing that manifested pride. So no buttons on trousers, shirts and dresses.

1890, Pennsylvania

 The Yellow star quilt is dated 1878, signed John Hummel. It is unknown whether he made the quilt or if the received it as a wedding present. I think it was given to me. But you never know in the 1800s.

Some of those quilts where for sale. Soooo tempting, like this quilt. Wedding quilt of Lydian A Bontrager. Made about 1955 by her grandmother. Lyda lives in Indiana “If I am selling this quilt, it is because my 8 children all have the quilt they want: I have given each one three quilts and a comforter. I need money to pay medical bills."

Wedding quilt of Elsie Otto, 1960. ‘I am selling this quilt because it’s too small for our bed and my children are interested. They prefer modern quilts’.
Elsies wedding quilt.


In this 56 squares Carla Bontrager used alle the different squares she had been gathering of many years.The colours are charasteristic of the clothes worn by the  Amish between 190 – 1990. ‘This quilt is the last I made for I am now 80. I have had bad back and asked my daugther Mary Esther to help me with the quilting.’ 

For certain, Clara won’t be doing any more quilting, although how does oneknow, because she is still amassing  scraps of fabric from here and there … How long will she be able to resist the pleasure of at least piecing them together?

Old wool, assembled in 1990 by Barbara Fisher, who was then 74 years old. Over het years, Barbara carefully kept offcuts of fabrics, some of wich date from her wedding in 1936. The bars and the Center Diamond established the credentials of the Amish quilt of Pennsylvania. Inspired by work on the land, this quilt, in its geometric simplicity, a faithful reflection of the austerity of Amish life. It fits perfectly with the Ordnung, that set of oral rules which regulates their daily life, and requiers a ‘modest’ attitude from every member of the community.

St. Marie aux Mines: Beauvillé (4)

I hadn't study the catalogue from the Patchwork festival very carefully. So when I came around the corner and found this exhibition it was a real suprise. Beautiful antique fabrics from the 1800s. Some of them are reprinted like the blue flowers.  

zondag 27 september 2015

St. Marie-aux-Mines: Villa Burrus (3)

There is always something interesting or special at Villa Burrus. This time there was an exposition of beautiful patchwork/embroidery from the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).

Yakutia was founded in 1922, it's a big country and represent 1/5 of Russia, but there are living less then 1 million people. It's pretty cold there. Most of the country is located in the permafrost.

Yakut people love there horses and consider them sacred. One of the reasons there were beautiful horse wearing trappings exposed.

National clothes

woensdag 23 september 2015

St. Marie-aux-Mines: Labors of Love (2)

In the 'Ancienne Sogenal' (Old Society General) you could find a beautiful collection of antique quilts collected by Jane Lury and her husband (sorrry I forgot his name).

Weddingring quilt 1930s, my wedding quilt is from 1954
 so a little bit younger. But similar fabrics.
I can tell you I spend some time there on thursday and saturday talking about our common love for old quilts. One of the most difficult things is dating quilts. If you don't know who made it's hard.

No way you can date them exactly but looking at other antique quilts, compare them to my own quilts and blocks can give you some clues. But only like late 1800s, around 1900, 1930s - 1940s. It's wonderful to touch the old quilttops and asking yourself 'why didn't she finished this quilt'. Did she lost interest, did she die, became sick, to busy with taking care of the family, or didn't she like the fabrics anymore so many reasons.
1930s Grandmothers flower.
Marne brought me just one like this from her church,only much more faded.
 So interesting to see that it has the same small green strips.
 I will show you some pictures when I'm back home.
Irish chain around 1890. I love the combinasion of muslin and
 the dark brown fabrics and men shirts. They're so typically late 1800s.
Lovely old quilttop arond 1870, way over my budget ; ).

Still there are lots and lots of orphan blocks to buy.
 I found two interesting Sun Bonnet Sue. There are lots of things
you can do with these old orphan blocks. 
 Admiring quilts like this gives me the inspiration to go with my orphan block projects and restoring old quilttops and turning them into quilts.Lucky we don't have a quiltpolice, because conservators think that you should leave the tops and blocks the way they are. I'm not doing that I love to turn them into quilts, and finish them as they were meant to by the original maker.

dinsdag 22 september 2015

St. Marie-aux-Mines: 16-19 september 2015 (1)

 Over 1000 antique, traditional and contemporary textile works on display.

I spend two days at the 21ste European Patchwork Meeting: thursday and saturday.

In the four villages: St. Marie-aux-Mines, St. Marie-aux-Croix, Liepvre and Rombach you find all kind of different expositions.  This year I thought there was a great mix of traditional and modern quilts. Lots and lots of inspiration, and in my next posts you will find pictures of my favorite exhibitions.

Really a good idea was to take my bike with me. So I parked the car just outside St. Marie-aux-Mines and took my (e)bike. Which was great. I cyled to St. Marie-aux-Croix and Liepvre, a beautiful cyclepath over an old railroad, only 8 kilometers away from St. Marie-aux-Mines.

Here are some tips if you want to go next year:
- In 2016 the dates are: wednesday 14 september till saturday 17 september (no sunday).
- We stayed in Riquewihr (35 minutes drives), lovely town, worthwhile a visit.
- Ribeauville and some other villages in this area are also very good places to stay.
- Flammkuchen should be on your menu.
- Taking your bike is very handy, but there is a free bus as well between the villages.
- One day is not enough if you want to see all the exhibitions.
- Villa Burrus has always something special.
- It's good to know that's it's not only patchwork but also textile arts.