Thursday, June 23, 2011

Quilts with a story

Last week I took my kids to a museum in Salt Lake City that had a new children's exhibit that they wanted to see. Lucky for me there was also a quilt exhibit at the same museum, right around the corner from where the kids wanted to be. There were some amazing quilts, so I thought I'd share a few. Pardon the flash photography - not beautiful, but the lighting was tricky and I figured it's better than nothing.

Let me also clarify again, in case you're one of those blog-text-skimmers (I am too):
(I wish I could say I had.)

This quilt was beautiful applique but I totally loved the pieced background in the neutral prints.
 More gorgeous applique.
Crazy quilt from the 1890's.
This quilt was called, "Under Penalty of Law" and is made entirely of appliqued clothing tags! It was made by Miriam Zabriskie and her son Michael. While Michael was in the hospital they collected all the clothing tags -many were donated by nurses, doctors, and other hospital staff - and he spent the time there arranging each label for placement.
  It reminds me of AmandaJean's Ticker Tape quilt but instead of fabric, it's made out of all those tags!
This quilt was my favorite though. It was made out of pieced diamonds slightly larger than a quarter. They were tiny!
This quilt was called The Asylum Quilt because it was made in the 1870's at the Utah State home for the Insane. (Isn't that a tragic name?) This part I love though, the director there started a program teaching the patients various forms of craftsmanship, including quilting, as a means of aiding the health and well-being of the patients there. (Personally, one of my own justifications for making quilts is to stave-off Alzheimer's Disease one day. I'm not kidding.)

Also in the exhibit (but picture did not turn out) was a quilt made by an old friend and her mom to replicate a quilt made by a pioneer ancestor. I love that idea as well! The title of the exhibit was Pieces of Me - Quilted Expressions of Human Ties. Isn't that so true? The best quilts are about people, I think.

So there you go - a little quilty field trip. I hope you enjoyed as well as you could despite the not-so-hot photography. The quilts were much better in person - I wish we could have gone together.

This weeked: an etsy shop up date. I'm starting to destash!


LynCC said...

Oh, my! The first two quilts just floored me. Wow. Thank you very much for sharing those wonders. :)

Karen Wilson said...

I always thought sewing together a quilt of so many tiny triangles would put you IN a mental asylum, not help you get out of one! LOL

Thanks for sharing the lovely photos and the stories.

Deb said...

Thanks for sharing all those fabulous quilts! I think the idea with the tags is fun. I thrift shop and sometimes find clothing with really neat I will have to make myself NOT buy something just because I like the clothing tag!! :) 'But it's for my quilt"!

Deb from

Teeeeeena said...

Awesome! All those different tags?!? Awesome!

The Tulip Patch said...

Love those quilts...think I've seen the ship one in real life.

Curious, why do you think quilting staves off alzheimer's? It's pretty bad in my family and it is always on my mind. I am aluminum phobic now, even. gimme the scoop, girl!

Jane said...

Thank you for sharing these gorgeous quilts. I especially love the tag quilt! How creative!

My mom was an avid quilter and taught me most of what I know about technique. She was also an avid crossword puzzle addict AND she knit daily since she was in her 20's. She succumbed to Altzheimer's when she was 80 years old. All of those acitivities are "supposed" to keep your mind from Altzheimer's, but it didn't happen. She actually knit (not well, or course) up to two weeks before her passing.

Elizabeth said...

I love the first one, I can't imagine how much time it must have taken! Thanks for posting a pic :)

Thimbleanna said...

Wow. That big star quilt is amazing. And gorgeous. I think you should start a quilt-along to re-create it ;-D!

Ivani said...

Thanks for sharing the pictures of these antique and gourgeous quilts.
Hugs from Brazil

Letterpress said...

Terrific post--I didn't know about the exhibit. What's the name of your friend and her mom? I clicked over to the website, but it's not organized so I can figure out who they are. I can search for them by name, though.

Thanks for this, and I hope your kids had a fun time too!

Elizabeth E.

Marcia said...

These are GREAT! Thank you for sharing ...

Whosies said...

i thought we were all sewing to stave off insanity.... um anyone? lol

those quilts are wonderful.