Friday, August 17, 2012

Quilts in the Mercer Museum (finally!)

A few weeks ago, Dave and I drove down to Doylestown, PA to the Mercer Museum to see an exhibit of Mennonite quilts from the collection of Paul and Rita Flacks.  We had never been to the Museum and were thrilled to find an enormous, wide-ranging collection of items from every day American life in the 18th and 19th century. (See previous post.)

But the real reason we were there was to see the quilts, and they did not disappoint.   Outside the gallery, two spectacular quilts served as previews for what was inside:

 This applique signature quilt is breathtaking!

Here is one corner to show the mix of traditional applique and broderie perse.  Notice that lovely appliqued tulip border.

This broderie perse quilt is also just gorgeous!

A close-up of a motif.....

When we walked into the gallery space itself, we were immediate struck by the vibrant colors of the quilts.

This applique quilt was stunning. 

While the blocks were beautiful, what made it stand out were the bias striped borders.

This school house quilt is different from the usual pattern: there is piping along the roof and wall seams of each school!  It certainly makes the contours of the schoolhouses stand out!

I've been following a Postage Stamp Quilt challenge online (I'm not participating, just watching with interest) so I enjoyed seeing this example of an interesting way to use those tiny little pieces.

This beautiful applique quilt with its background of Lancaster Blue had so many interesting elements.
Notice the borders are just cut off at the ends.  No tricky corner construction for this quiltmaker!

What she did spend time on was lots of beautiful berries, and a reverse applique border to die for!

My favorite quilts in the collection were from Lebanon County, Pennsylvania.  They all had a very similar, controlled color palette and used that palette in different ways to create stunning quilts.
Three of the quilts were pieced (except for the basket handles.

I just love the combination of the maroon, the bright yellow and the Lancaster blue in this basket quilt.

The Irish Chain is one of my favorite patterns, especially in this color palette.

And look at this quilting!

Again, the use of these colors just made this quilt stand out!  Those Lebanon County women know what they were doing.

The last quilt in the show (at least it was closest to the door) was this appliqed beauty, again, in that Lebanon County palette, although with cheddar instead of a subtler yellow.  And notice the chevron quilting.  Just lovely.  This made me want to go right home and make a pomegranate quilt!

These were my favorites from the Mercer Museum show.  I especially enjoyed looking at the hand quilting on each one and returned home with new determination to practice, practice, practice!

To see more of the quilt from the Mercer, take a look at
(And look at Kathie's beautiful quilts, too!)

Up next time, trading blocks and drawing jester's hats!

Enjoy your weekend.  Find time to quilt!

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