Monday, January 24, 2011

Historical Societies are a treasure trove


The Maryland Historical Society (MdHS) in Baltimore, Maryland, owns the largest collection of Baltimore Album quilts. Lucky me, I live just outside of Baltimore and had the pleasure of participating in an excellent quilt program there this past weekend. Actually, it is a two part program so I'll be back there next Saturday, too.

Phyllis Twigg Hatcher started us off with a lecture and show-and-tell of pre-1850 quilts (mostly from Maryland) from her own collection. It was heaven for a fabric lover like me. Then we took a walk through the museum's current exhibit of Maryland quilts plus some folk art and artifacts that are depicted in the album quilts. Following the tour was a slide show lecture about Baltimore monuments which were frequently depicted on the Baltimore Album quilts. We also received kits to make our own album blocks which include an inking of Baltimore's Washington Monument.


This quilt was a stunner! Called "Mathematical Star" because that is how these star quilts were listed in the records of the Maryland Agricultural Fairs, it is dated to 1835 and was likely made by Adeline Virginia Bartruff Darnall. It is one of the richest looking broderie perse quilts I've ever seen. Interestingly, I learned from Phyllis that this technique used to be called "cut-out chintz" instead of the fancier sounding broderie perse. I kind of like that straightforward descriptive title.


Above is a detail photo of the cut-out chintz work and the exquisite quilting and the photo below shows you in detail the rich colors that remain in the fabrics. .


The MdHS is rotating their quilt collection through a small, ongoing exhibition. There are only about 7 quilts currently on display but I think you can tell by these photos, it is worth visiting and savoring the selection. There were also some stunning crazy quilts that are truly examples of some Baltimore needlewomen's work of a lifetime.

Next week, we continue on beyond the Baltimore album era with more of Phyllis' collection and may include a little walking field trip to the actual Washington Monument (IF Baltimore's weather warms up to something higher than frigid).

17 comments:

Cheryl said...

I am drawn to the colors in this quilt. So vibrant. Thank you for sharing. Wish I could have joined the lecture.

Sue said...

Wow! How wonderful that you live so close to the historical society and that quilt is gorgeous. All the detail and colors! Oooh-la-la.

Thank you for sharing with us to enjoy :)

Lori said...

What a wonderful opportunity, Taryn, to see some fantastic quilts!! That one is lovely and the colors are still so vibrant. I'm normally not a huge fan of cut out chintz but this one is really spectacular.

Barb said...

beautiful quilt! How nice to see it in person.

Donna in SW PA said...

Oh I would have loved to have been a part in that. So glad you could!

Kate said...

Wow Adeline has created a stunner indeed. What a treat to have such a resource at your fingertips!

Sharon said...

What an amazing opportunity. Just to see the quilts would be great, but to have the lectures and slideshows along with the viewings, WOW.

Julia said...

Lucky you Taryn, being so close to visit and be part in the museum..
My dream one day to come up and see them all..

Dorothy said...

How wonderful to be so close to be able to see these quilts. Thanks for letting us have a view too.

Lisa said...

Lucky you! That quilt is a beauty, for sure. Wonderful quilting, and I can never see enough Broderie Perse.

Kathie said...

just beautiful...oh my, the colors are to die for.
makes me want to drive down Saturday to see the Baltimore Album part of this class :)
can't imagine the beautiful quilts she will share.
lucky you!
Kathie

LuAnn said...

What a great quilt. I have never heard the term "cut out chintz" before. The colors they have put together are amazing.

Quilt Azubi said...

Help please..
I found a picture of a quilt with a nice block pattern in internet. Unfortunately, there was no title to or a label. Maybe there is somebody in blogland can help me? I would intressted the name and perhaps the history of the pattern.
It was a wonderful two-color quilt in blue and white. I made a sketchy picture and put in my blog.
I would be happy to answer a helping.
greets from Berlin/Germany
Kat :)

Quilts And Pieces said...

Oh how awesome is that! What fun that must have been!

Karen said...

A place I would love to visit if we get up that way again.

Hilda said...

I'm a bit late seeing this blog:) but just had to say thanks so much for showing this one - what a beautiful quilt! Just love the broderie perse !! Your photos are wonderful - thanks again.

Laurie said...

I love the 'cut-out chintz' but the 'lone atar' pattern is also unique and stunning.

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