Friday, July 18, 2014

A Trip to Denver - Quilts Galore!

I just returned from a visit to the Denver area where I was fortunate to enjoy a great many opportunities to see and study vintage quilts and attend several special events.
The First Glance;Second Look exhibition at the Denver Art Museum was one of them. I attended with several quilt loving friends and we were all completely enthralled with the display of quilts from the museum's collection. The exhibit was aptly named because each and every quilt nearly forced you to take a second look...and a third and fourth! At first glance you are excited. Up close you notice more things to exclaim over.
You may have seen some of these quilts on calendars or in other publications.
Here's a graphic four block Prince's Feather made in Alabama.

 I'll zoom in for a closer look at the quilting.

We all commented on the fan quilted border;
not often seen as just a border quilting design

Pine Tree Medallion c. 1900
Made in Alabama
 The central pine tree, faded from the original color,
 is surrounded by dramatic borders! 
Mathematical precision is required to make the corners meet so perfectly

This Matterhorn quilt is composed of over 9,000 3/4" squares
.Hand quilted.
95" x 105"

Having attended a lecture the night before called Sew Many Pieces by Jeananne Wright, this one was of particular interest. Jeananne shared quilts from her collection that were made of over 3,000 pieces.
Apparently no one has taken on the job of counting these pieces as the information was not provided!

The Houses and Pine Trees quilt was even reproduced on the elevator door and is the cover of a very nice  companion book available by mail order or in the museum gift shop. 

By the way, you can see more photos of this exhibit at the blog Collector with a Needle
  Part 1  and  Part 2

The adjoining thread studio was an interesting and unique concept with a variety of displays from techniques to tools along with 'hands on' experiences.

All of these bobbins are required to make this intricate lace. I have seen women doing this and find it hard to believe they can manage to keep them all straight.

Here's a display of the steps involved in making a Cathedral Window. So many people wonder how it is done. Technically not a quilt, these are heavy textiles and you can see why! There are a great many layers of folded fabric.

While you are there, the 3rd floor has a wonderful exhibit of American Indian art.
 I especially loved the eye dazzler Navaho rug display.

If you get to this museum be sure to go when it opens and allow enough time to take it all in. Then you will be hungry enough to enjoy the excellent lunch at the museum restaurant.

 I can vouch for the Cobb Salad!


  1. The feather quilt a beauty. Such interesting quilting.
    The 3,000 plus piece quilts would be interesting to see in person. Just imagine the perseverance of the maker to stitch so many pieces together.

  2. Yes, Karen and then to hand quilt through all those layers.Boggles the mind.

  3. Fun post Jean! Great pictures too.


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