Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Blast From the Past

In 2004, I stored a lot photos on Yahoo. As part of closing down their photo site, Yahoo kindly moved them to Flickr for me ... giving me reason to revisit the past and take another look at a very special event and exhibition.

In February, along with 400 other quilters, I attended a preview luncheon at The Henry Ford Museum for their exhibit, Quilting Genius.

Entrance of show

During the luncheon, the curator explained that their goal was to showcase 30 show-stopping quilts from their collection. They did not disappoint. There were wonderful examples of piecing, appliqué, embroidery and broderie perse.

Detail of Appliqued Flowers Another Detail of Broderie Perse

For me, the highlight was my introduction to the Susan McCord quilts.

Entrance to Susan McCord's Quilts

Susan McCord was a 19th century quilter, the wife of a dairy farmer and a holistic herbalist. Of all the quilts she was known to have made, most are in the museum's collection. Her earlier quilts are pieced with lots of tiny hexagons or triangles. She also made crazy quilts and appliqué quilts. Here are some of my favorite details. (click, click, click for larger images).

Detail from Crazy Quilt Detail from Fans Detail from Random

mccord_rose_detail Detail from Flowers

Her later quilts featured incredible, original vines--as borders or as the main design element.

Another Detail from Ocean Waves Border Detail from Wandering Foot

Vines is the best known and most traveled of the McCord quilts, but this one--called Branches--was and is my personal favorite.

Branches

Even though my photos seem now to capture as much of the event itself as the quilts in the exhibit--there are precious few quilter-free shots--it was fun to revisit that day. If you'd like to see more, check out my (new) Flickr set, Quilting Genius.

I guess I'm not the only one that thinks this exhibit is worth re-visiting. Although The Henry Ford didn't produce and sell a catalog and couldn't extend the short run of the show, despite it's overwhelming popularity, they still have information about it, here, on their site, including their own online exhibit.

6 comments:

Libby said...

Thanks for posting that or I would have lost my yahoo photos since I so rarely check that site! Funny to see this post since we just brought home "Quilts from the Henry Ford" from our trip to GR...so these look familiar!

Christine Thresh said...

Thanks for the pictures. How in the world did she do those tiny appliqued circles? You saw them up close.

Marisa said...

Ok, these quilts are AMAZING! I am so so so glad you shared these pictures. I have all my blocks done to complete a baltimore album quilt, and I want to do a border that is cool. The one shown here is so inspirational. I'm think I will have to use some elements of it in my quilt. Thank you so much for sharing!!

mamaspark said...

Hi Sophie,

I am in the dollquilt swap too! I was visiting all the other swapper blogs and found yours. I went to that exhibit at The Henry Ford too. Susan McCord's quilts are fabulous! I live in the Detroit area, where are you?
mamaspark@gmail.com

Amy said...

Wow -- I can't believe that was three years ago already! So glad I got to see these lovelies with you later that year. ~Amy

Laura said...

Wow, lucky you getting to see the Susan McCord quilts, they are gorgeous!

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