Tuesday, January 11, 2022

A Most Excellent Adventure

 Usually when the forecast is for 6” to 8” of snow, I get excited for a nice quiet sew day. But I had finally arranged to see the exhibition, “Fabric of a Nation” at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and since it closes on Monday, I couldn’t let a little snow stop me.

 My wonderful husband drove my friend, Fotini and I to the train so we wouldn’t have to clean off the car on the way back. There must have been lots of closings because we had the whole train car to ourselves down and back. We made our “timed entry” to the exhibition with time to spare.

 I cannot describe my delight in seeing these quilts. Many of these gems have been on my “must see” list for many years. And, I was reacquainted with my favorite wool quilt of all time. Cyndi Black (Busy Thimble) and I documented this quilt around 20 years ago here in Maine and I was delighted to see it again in person. The detail in this is just remarkable. 

From Solon, Maine c1830

 The exhibition was much more than a collection of quilts. There was an emphasis on quilts in context with life’s triumphs and struggles. It was very moving. And, of course seeing both of Harriet Powers’ quilts was beyond my wildest expectations. 
 
close up 


 I won’t fill the post with the hundreds of photos that I took, but here are a few of my favorites: 

An Ed Larsen quilt made by Fran Soika
 
Molly Upton's "Watchtower"
One of my favorite "Florence Peto" quilts 
Close up 
I have loved this quilt for a long time, but I've always felt it should hang the other way. Partly because of the crossed flags and because if I go to the effort to applique my name on a quilt I want people to be able to read it!
close up - the quilting is amazing!
ON a funny note, if you enlarge this photo you can see a piece of thread sitting on the blue fabric. It was all I could do to not pick it off! Just goes to show you - threads are everywhere!


I know how fortunate I was to be able to see this in person. It was a fabulous day. I highly recommend the catalog. You can get it on the MFA website (here).

Be sure to keep an eye on the young woman, Bisa Butler, who made the quilt on the cover. She is a shining star and we will assuredly be seeing a lot of her.

 Thanks for riding along with us. I hope you find an adventure soon too.

19 comments:

  1. This is so wonderful. I can't even imagine ever being able to go see an exhibit like this. You live in an amazing part of the country for antique quilt viewing.

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  2. With quilts, threads are always everywhere and so is cat fur! Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos of the exhibit!

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  3. Thank you for taking us along to the quilt show. I wish I could be there in person, but the pictures will do for now.

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  4. awesome post wendy...i watched a virtual tour of this exhibit...so lucky you got there in person

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  5. So, so glad you got to see this exhibit - one of those “once in a lifetime” events. I loved it. Glad to hear you chose the train for traveling!๐Ÿ˜Š

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  6. Thank you for sharing photos of the exhibit, Wendy. It looks like it would have been a fabulous show to see in person. Do you happen to know when the Florence Peto quilt was made? This century, last century, etc.? It seems older yet has a sense of modern to it, too.

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    1. She made this one in the mid 1950's. I have the book about her amazing life. She was such a treasure.

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  7. Glad you were able to get to the mueseum. It looked like an awesome exhibit. Seeing both of Harriet Powers quilts together would have been amazing.

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  8. What a wonderful day out! I love that Crazy City quilt. Amazing to be able to see it in person. Did you take more detailed photos of it?? I love to see the details! It’s so interesting to see her use of stripes and plaids in the stars. Thank you SO much for sharing these - such a treat!!!

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    1. I did take a few more shots of it and I will post them today for you. I just need to get them off my phone which for some reason takes me forever. Operator error I am sure!

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  9. That first quilt is breathtaking! They are all incredible, for that matter. Thank you for the peeks at the inspiring quilts you were able to view.
    Bless Gordon for getting you to and from the train. I just keep scrolling back through the quilts in awe. I think I go crawl back in my sewing room and make some simple 4-patches. LOL
    BTW, I would have thought you would carry a white glove with you to take care of those pesky threads. ;)

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    1. I thought about just plucking it off, but I was sure I would set off some sort of alarm. It was quiet enough in the museum that I could have touched a lot of the quilts without detection. I still feel like I was dreaming to be able to go. And to spend a lovely quality day with my friend was the icing on the cake!

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  10. How fun! Great you can hop a train with a friend to visit.

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  11. What a wonderful day, Wendy! Thank you for sharing some of your favs for those of us far flung and can’t get there. Glad the snow didn’t stop you.

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  12. Thanks for sharing the experience! How wonderful to be able to see the exhibit in person!

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  13. Wow these are wonderful. I am glad you were able to see them and share them with us.

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  14. What a wonderful outing with your friend! That exhibit looks quite extraordinary. Always liked Ed Larson's quilts and seeing pics of Florence Peto's brought back lots of memories. Thanks for all the detail shots of these fabulous quilts!

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  15. Oh I'm so glad you got to see these quilts. Crazy City is one of my all time favorites. Like you, I think it upside down.
    I have several books on Harriet Powers. She is an amazing story quilter.
    That is Florence Peto I don't know well. I have to look at Barbara Schaffers book!

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  16. What a thrill to see Harriet Power's quilts!!!!

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