By the turn to the 20th century, quilt-making was a blend of old styles with business-minded quilt designers and pattern makers. When American soldiers went to war, much of the nation’s quilt-making concentrated on providing for them and the Red Cross. The Red Cross quilt pattern was published by Modern Priscilla Magazine in December 1917, and quilt-making combined with fundraising for the Red Cross war relief efforts. The pandemic flu of 1918 was met with a government ban on joining together in groups. Thus, quilting bees and Red Cross work came to a virtual halt. While our grandfathers and great grandfathers fought on the battlefields, our grandmothers and great grandmothers made benevolent contributions on the home front. Many quilts exhibited in this collection give a glimpse into the struggles of World War I.
- “Treasures From the Vault: Early 20th Century Quilts” Gloria Comstock, VQM Curator and Registrar
In addition to the World War I era quilt collection seen in Sue Reich’s exhibit, enjoy quilts from an expanded period of the early 1900s in this selection from the Museum’s own collection. Outline embroidery was popular, as well as pieced quilts using shirting and prints from the time period. Poppy quilts are on loan from private collections.
- “Windchimes” by the Fiber Artists @ Loose Ends
Organized in 2005, the Fiber Artists @ Loose Ends encourages its members to explore new ideas and techniques, providing departure to a creative exploration of the fiber art medium. Its ten members created this eight-part installation, featuring the four seasons and the four elements of Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. Notice techniques that range from traditional quilting designs to painting on silk to fused fibers that have been stitched and then melted.
- “Something Old is New Again: Needlework of the 20th and 21st Centuries” by The Shenandoah Valley Chapter of the American Needlepoint Guild, curated by Gretchen Janesak and Laurie Kelly
This exhibition explores another fiber art revival – utilitarian and decorative needlework, dating back 100 years, or newly made, is the focus. The study of needlework objects provides insight into our history, and the everyday lives led by our forebears. Some items in the exhibit are members’ family heirlooms; the majority are new works, designed to be true to the time period the exhibit seeks to portray. These contemporary works of art will, in turn, become the family heirlooms for the generations that follow.
EXHIBIT PHASE II runs from May 30 – August 26, 2017.
Events for Exhibit Phase II
July 27-29 – Friction, Fray, and Fabric: Textiles in the First World War (third annual VQM textiles study symposium)
Images and credits: *Detail of 1918 Red Cross Quilt from Central Ohio, inspired by a Dec. 1917 Modern Priscilla Magazine pattern