Inspiration from New England in the Fall

Autumn Colour: breathtaking!

Autumn Colour: breathtaking!

Well, this year has seen the fulfilment of a long held dream: leaf peeping in New England in the Fall. We hit peak leaf colour: it was amazing! I have rarely seen anything so beautiful. As we criss-crossed Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts walking, cycling and just plan goggling with our mouths open we had a marvellous time. And of course no Ice Bear Quilts trip is complete without a little quilt therapy!

The round barn at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont.

The round barn at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont.

Our first quilty stop was the lovely Shelburne Museum in Shelburne just outside Burlington in Vermont. This is a fabulous open-air and American Folk Art Museum and we had the luck (it was just a coincidence, honest!!) to visit when there were three special quilt exhibitions in additions to the museum’s own famous collection.

These were ‘ Homefront and Battlefield: Quilts and Context in the Civil War which was a fascinating display of quilts and other textiles related to the Civil War period (1861-1865) in America.

Two quilts from the Homefront Exhibit.

Two quilts from the Homefront Exhibit.

The quilts were all beautifully presented: slightly angled for support and held in place using small coloured round magnets that means nothing has to be pinned or otherwise put under strain, a method I had not come across before. The magnets were coloured to match the quilts, so were almost invisible.

An appliqué quilt from the exhibit.

An 1867 appliqué reconciliation quilt from the exhibit, made by Lucinda Honstain of Brooklyn.

There was also ‘All Star Quilts: The John Wilmerding Collection” which was a fabulous exhibit of Lone Star, Star of Bethlehem, Exploded Star  and other star quilts. Some of the hand stitching was almost invisible.

Puritan Star Quilt. c. 1890

Puritan Star Quilt. c. 1890

 

Mariner's Compass Quilts

Mariner’s Compass Quilts

Last but not least there was a modern exhibit Nancy Crow: Seeking beauty: Riffs on Repetition which showcased the new direction in Nancy’s work where she is exploring printing her own abstract textiles.

Part of the Nancy Crow exhibit.

Part of the Nancy Crow exhibit.

These quilts were in a gallery adjacent to the museum’s permanent collection of historical quilts, do the contrast was huge, but very dynamic!

Nancy Crow: Markings 1: the known- the unknown.

Nancy Crow: Markings 1: the known- the unknown.

All in all very inspirational and well worth a visit (take a day!) if you are in the area.

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