Tuesday, August 24, 2010

DAM Quilts

DAM, DAM, DAM quilts.

DAM Quilts = Denver Art Museum Quilts. But I'm having a Bart Simpson moment and totally reveling in writing something that is accurate, but when spelled differently might be seen as not so nice.

The museum supports quilts as art. They've had previous shows of Amish, Mennonite and Gee's Bend quilts so it's worth checking them out if you're in the area. I think the quilts in these photos were part of their permanent collection. I got some good pics for you (try clicking to see larger). Here we go:

My Aunt Janet with the Princess Feather Quilt, made in 1860 by Martha Jane Cary Gray, probably in Ohio:


The quilt looked like it had barely been used, let alone washed. Can you see the beautiful hand quilting?


My favorite thing about the quilting, besides the fact that it's gorgeous, is how imperfect it is. Seriously. Look at how the diagonal lines take a noticeable turn at the seam line:


Why do I point this out? Because I'm always telling folks that they stress too much as they do the freehand fans, worrying about what EACH one looks like, rather than the overall effect.

Here's a shot of several of the quilts:



I liked the Pineapple quilt shown on the left. Here's a close-up so you can see the shirting fabric:



I liked this next quilt the best (but I wasn't smart enough to get any of the details about it):


I LOVE the shape of this flower and look at how lovely and softly faded the colors are. I don't know if you can see it but every bit of fabric is appliqued down with a herringbone stitch:


Gwen Marston always recommends NOT cutting away the fabric underneath your appliques. Looking at how this quilt has held together despite the wear, you can see why (look at the pink fabric in the center):


I love this patriotic quilt, but it wasn't as easy to photograph under glass. Look at how the top and bottom rows are turned differently than the middle ones - seems like a really unusual choice to me, rather than making the top half face a different way than the bottom for examp


Beautiful.

29 comments:

Teresa said...

Wow! That was fun...winners, every one of them!

Thanks for the show,
teresa :o)

Sharon said...

I went to the Denver Museum before I was a quilter. They had an exhibit of crazy quilts, I was meserized by them. I wandered that floor, looked around other floors and went back and spent another hour or so. The work was unbelievable. I'm glad I bought the poster. These appliques are divine!

Nifty Quilts said...

Dam! These are some mighty gorgeous quilts. Thanks for the field trip.

Kathie said...

OMG you must have been thinking about how much I would have loved to be there with you!
Lucky you
amazing quilts
Kathie

quiltmom said...

Tonya.
Those are such stunning quilts in the museum. I would love to see them- there is something very moving about seeing handwork that people have labored many hours.
I love other people's applique but it is not a technique that calls to me- I am a machine kind of quilter all the way.
Perhaps one day I will try hand work- but I have a few more machine quilts to make first VBG.
Thanks for sharing your lovely afternoon.
Warmest regards,
Anna

Stephanie said...

I love these! Amazing.

Bonnie K Hunter said...

Love the quilts!!! You know I love that pineapple for sure, and the crazy crosshatching on the applique one....WONDERFUL!! That's my kind of quilter! Get off the grid? Oh well..just keep going!

Thanks for sharing these..eye candy definitely inspires!

Bonnie

AnnieO said...

The Denver Art Museum was where I first fell in love with red and green quilts! The docent there told me (in 1980ish) that the museum had enough quilts in their collection to change the entire thing EVERY DAY. Wow! Thanks for the lovely tour of incredible quilts. Someday I'll get back there myself, I hope. Nice photo of your aunt, too.

Stray Stitches said...

Thanks for sharing! I love looking at antique quilts. They had several at the Long Beach quilt show in July and I spent a long time looking at all the detail work.

KnitOneQuiltTooKristin said...

Gorgeous quilts! I love the first one best.

Clare said...

Re the patriotic quilt. Is it my imagination, or are the blocks on the outside left hand side slightly different. It looks as if the maker replaced red with orange. Perhaps it's the light or fading?

Love the pineapple one, but my fav is the one with the wonky quilting cos, as you know, I don't "do" straight LOL!

Sujata Shah said...

What a treat to see all these quilts! Thanks, Tonya!

True Blue Nana said...

Great quilts and thanks so much for posting the back of the hand quilted one. It makes me feel much better about my hand quilting. I have several old quilts and some of the hand quilting is almost perfect but some is not.

Barb said...

Fabulous! absolutely fabulous!
All my kind of quilts and all beautiful.
Makes me want to hand quilt all day, but alas.....other things to do.

black bear cabin said...

i used to be a volunteer at the DAM and always had to drop in on that floor :)
glad you are having a great time in Denver...its a beautiful city!

ROZ said...

Beautiful quilt show. The flag quilt was a big surprise

A Paperback Writer said...

Just amazing.
Did you know there's a quilt museum in Old Deseret Village in SLC now? It has a bunch of antiques in it, but it's not open all the time, which is too bad.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for the eye candy! love them all!

Diane said...

These are the type of quilts that made me want to become a quilter in the first place. Thanks for sharing your great photos.

Em said...

Breathtaking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lucky you for getting to be there and CELEBRATE the talent and beauty. THank you for visiting my blog the other day, I was tickled with your compliments! Happy Monday!!!!

Alice said...

What beautiful quilts. I got out my swatch cards today and am picking out some green red and orange to do some applique.
I am never drawn to pineapple quilts - but after seeing the closeup of this one I think I will have to change my mind. I love the fabrics in that one.
Thanks for showing the quilting - I have done crosshatching (much much bigger than that) and I remember that I had to fudge it to get it to match up. I wonder whether the quilter worried about it, or just got on with it?

Caroline @ Atelier Caroline said...

Just a quick note to let you know I have nominated you for the beautiful blog award

Check it out here :
http://ateliercaroline.blogspot.com/2010/08/check-out-counter-check-out-award.html

Caroline

Nancy said...

Spectacular! Thanks for sharing these wonderful quilts. Love the Princess Feather.

Lynda said...

Thank you so much for sharing these photos! I'm not likely to be in Denver personally to see them anytime soon!

MARCIE said...

Love seeing all the intricacies in these beautiful quilts.

YankeeQuilter said...

Those quilts are gorgeous! Makes my fingers itch to handquilt again....

John'aLee said...

What beautiful and happy quilts! Thanks so much for sharing!

Kari said...

I didn't know they had so many quilts. Last time I was there they were not on display. If you are around again, there is a quilt museum in Golden, CO. I keep trying to drum up interest with my hubby and friends to go see it but to no avail (yet!).

Ann Champion said...

What a treat to see those gorgeous quilts in person! I love red and green quilts especially. Even though the grid is a bit "off" on the one..it doesn't detract from it's beauty. :)