Monday, September 20, 2010

"Quilts . . .the Fabric of Our Past" At Eagle Bluff Lighthouse Thru Oct. 8th!

We just received this press release from the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse's Patti Podgers: Through October 8th!

Quilts…the Fabric of Our Past

Plain and fancy, colorful or darkly-hued, the quilts sewn by the women of the mid-18th century are the reflection of life in frontier villages across America. With the pull of thread through layers of fabric and padding, grandmothers, mothers, and their daughters created comfort in the warmth of a quilt.

Honoring the tradition of those early settlers, the Trillium Quilt Guild shares the legacy of these hardy women in an exhibit of quilts at the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse Museum. Continuing through October 8, “Quilts…the Fabric of Our Past” is a collection of 19 hand-sewn pieces dating from 1880 to the present. Demonstrating the variety of styles, fabrics, and techniques of generations of quilters, the exhibit is a walk through history.

“Quilting is such an important part of our history,” said Eagle Bluff Lighthouse curator/manager Patti Podgers. “To have so many quilts displayed in the lighthouse is a real treat. Julia Duclon, the wife of Eagle Bluff’s second keeper was well-known as an excellent quilter so it appropriate that we host this exhibit in her honor.”

The art of quilt-making began in the 13th century when linen bed covers gained popularity in Europe and Asia. The art of quilt-making was introduced to America in the 18th and 19th centuries following the industrial revolution. Machine-woven fabrics freed women from the labors of weaving fabric. Most of American’s early quilts were constructed of wool and cotton. Women of all ages and social rank soon took up the needle.

As quilting gained in popularity, a shift in style occurred. By the 1850s “whole cloth” quilts with an overall design were replaced with pieced blocks sown together to form a cover. The introduction of the Singer sewing machine in 1851 was a boon to quilters, though it was rare that a quilt was sown entirely by machine.

“The history of quilting in the United States is truly a story of the foraging of a nation,” explained Podgers. “Wounded Civil War soldiers were delivered home to their loved ones in quilts stained with their blood. Quilts were sold at fairs to raise money to free slaves and support the war effort. There were even maps to freedom embedded in the pattern of a quilt.”

During the Victorian Era, the crazy quilt was the rage. “That is the type of quilt Julia Duclon favored. They are very detailed and embellished, and were quite creative and artistic. Most often they were used as an ornamental covering for a piano or table, but rarely for a bed,” Podgers explained.

Traveling the desolate prairies and plains of the frontier, the women captured the flight of birds across the sky, a maple leaf turning from green to gold, the swirl of a butter churn in their quilts. The fabric of their lives told stories of love--the wedding ring, and friendship--the charm quilt. Wrapped in a quilt, fallen soldiers were laid to rest.

“Quilts tell us stories, stories that we all can cherish and hold dear. They truly are the fabric of our lives,” Podgers concluded. “I hope everyone has an opportunity to visit Eagle Bluff Lighthouse and experience the story we tell through these beautiful quilts.”

We jsut rceived this press release from Eagle Harbor Lighthouse's Patti Podger

Trillium Quilt Guild members participating in “Quilts…the Fabric of Our Past” include: Valerie Billington, Fran Burton, Julie Fiedler (exhibit coordinator), Pat Flaherty, Judy Giessel, Lynn Lees, and Sally Nesser.

The Trillium Quilt Guild meets at 10 am the second and fourth Thursday mornings of each month year round. Meetings are held in the Sister Bay Fire Station on Mill Road. New members are always welcome. For membership information contact Miriam Malenius, 920.839.2772.

The Eagle Bluff Lighthouse Museum is located in Peninsula State Park. A sticker is required to enter the park. The lighthouse is open from 10 am – 4 pm; tours are available every half hour through 3:30 pm. Admission to the lighthouse is $5 adult, $2 student, and $1 youth. Children 5 and under are admitted free. Call Patti Podgers at 920.495.7330 or 920.421.3636 for additional information.

And tell them sent you!

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