The Cottage Orné Quilt

The Cottage Orné Quilt
Click the picture to visit my other blog

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Eye on Elegance Exhibition, DAR Museum, Washington DC

Sorry about the last post, I was going to share a new project with you and accidentally pressed the "publish" button!  It certainly brought in more comments than I usually get, so maybe I should try a teaser more often?

I will return to it soon, but first of all I wanted to tell you about a new exhibition which is now open in Washington DC.  For those of us who can't get to see it there is an online exhibit and an excellent video - here is the link

I am particularly interested in early American quilts because they have such a strong link to British quilts.  Many have the same format as our frame quilts and use blocks found on our Georgian quilts.  This quilt being a prime example -

It has such a strong and simple form and I can see it made up in various ways.  It could be in plain vibrant colours and be Amish?  Or made in dark Welsh wool and be Welsh?   However, here it is in beautiful chintz, very carefully chosen and probably very expensive? The quilting on it is absolutely breathtaking, do look at the video on piecing which shows it in detail.  Of course if it was Welsh it would have different quilting, equally sumptuous but quite distinctive, full of spirals, fans and other wonderful Welsh patterning! Sorry couldn't resist getting that in!

This really is what the exhibition to about, it is demonstrating to us with wonderful examples, the trouble and expense women went to in the 18th and early 19th century, to make masterpiece quilts using high quality fabrics.  This is  something dear to my heart, collecting really good fabrics and using them imaginatively!
I do wish I could visit and drool over these wonderful quilts!
Go if you possibly can!

Here I must give this museum full credit for catering for those of us you can't visit in person.  Not often I praise a museum on this page!


Mayleen said...

Thanks for letting us know about this exhibit! The quilts and quilting are wonderful. The museum has done a great job!

susanhal said...

hi mary , thanks for the steer to this exhibition. the daughters of the american revolution eh ? need now to find out who they are, what they do and how on earth you qualify for such a group.
when i first saw that quilt pic you put up i thought,umm, it's ok i suppose , not so pretty not my favourite colour scheme, but then i watched the video as you said and, wow !! the quilting is just wonderful,super duper good. i wonder if anyone alive now could complete a work of such fine beauty?
well done to the DAR for letting us all have a good look at their treasures.

Alden O'Brien said...

I'm thrilled that you're pleased--I'm the curator of the exhibit and we're so excited to have such a super website with the ability to zoom in on the quilts. (ALSO: ALL our quilts are visible online at As you'll see in the Migration section, I do talk about how the US quilt styles came from Europe--I chose a quilt made by a woman who emigrated from the UK in her teens as an example, but others in the show exhibit even more debt to UK styles. The DAR is a lineage organization--you join by proving lineal descent from someone who either served as a soldier or gave some other support to the patriot cause in the Am. Revolution. for more info on them.