Saturday

Quilts represent life at North Carolina museum

In June of this year, my husband Mike and I took a trip to "Down East," North Carolina. This was not our first trip. We've been there several times because Mike is from eastern North Carolina, and his sister and her husband live there. We have a great time visiting them and going to the beach. 

While we were there, we went to the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center, a beautifully coordinated museum filled with artifacts of life in the Down East villages, and around Core Sound. Since we'd been to this museum before, I was geared up to take pictures of the beautiful quilts completed by locals and displayed throughout the museum.

Here is one that was sewn around 1900:

I didn't get a close look at what kind of fabric was used, but I'm sure the bright colors added a cheerful tone to any room it graced.

As far back as I can remember, quilts have been part of my family. I still have an old log cabin quilt that my grandmother made for me when I was a baby - sorry, I'm not going to tell you when that was but I will tell you that it's now considered an antique. My grandmother also made some patchwork quilts for our family out of pieces of cloth from our clothing that my mother had saved. I remember looking at these quilts and picking out the pieces I recognized.

People have been combining leftover fabrics for centuries. In earlier times, nothing was wasted because it could be recycled into another useful item. These quilts from the museum have tweed pieces that looked like they belonged to an old suit:


I wonder what other pieces of cloth the quilter used to fashion this?

Here is some more patchwork:


 This one is my favorite:


Aren't the colors lovely? I wonder what memories they evoke from the families by whom they were donated?

Here is a nine patch quilt:

 Many of the quilts hang from the ledge of the second floor:


One thing I really enjoy about this museum is the second floor displays that are put together by representatives of the communities from around the area. Each community has its own section. This quilt is from the Davis exhibit, the village where my sister and brother-in-law live:


I believe this is a mixed pattern. The little triangles look like Flock of Geese. Isn't the mint chair cool?

Here is another quilt with a Dresden Plate pattern. Love those bright colors:


And here is one that makes me wonder about the people behind it:

It reminds me of a quilt that my father's family made for my Aunt Alice. Every member in the family was given a block of muslin upon which to draw a picture of their hobby. We used liquid embroidery markers (are those still in existence??). Since I was around 7 or 8 my mom drew a book with bookworm coming out of the book. The book was "Little House on the Prairie" because Laura Ingalls was my childhood hero.

I think the reason that I enjoy quilts so much is that they evoke memories of things past and keep our spirits warm in their comfort so that we can continue into the future. A lot of time and work goes into a quilt. It is an effort of love and affection for the person who will receive it. Maybe someday I'll learn to make them myself.