The 31st annual Quilt and Vintage Fashion Exhibit at the Folsom History Museum this summer is one of the best shows for vintage quilts in Northern California — ranking it “up there” in the world of quilt shows in the Western United States.
As a dabbler in quilting who grew up with a mother, grandmother and great-grandmothers who all quilted — and who has been to many quilt shows in the past four decades — I almost feel guilty saying that this year’s show at the Folsom History Museum is one of the best I’ve attended there in the past five years. It doesn’t seem fair to the other shows, because each quilt is an expression of the woman (or man) who crafted it.
The theme for this year’s show is “Ageless Beauties from Loving Hands.” The antique, handmade quilts and antique clothing items are a beautiful celebration of artwork, love and patience.
Three quilts set this show apart for me.
“Wandering Lover” is a blue and white quilt crafted between 1840 and 1860. The pattern is also known as “Birds in Flight.” It is a big quilt, which was not uncommon in that era prior to the Civil War. Beds were tall and wide. This quilt features intricate feathered medallions created by thousands of tiny quilting stitches.
“Caesar’s Crown” was created between 1840 and 1886 in New York. This quilt features red and green “crowns” on a white field. Again, thousands of tiny quilting stitches create additional images on the quilt. Most remarkable to me is the condition of this quilt. The dyes have remained true, and this quilt (the possession of a collector) has obviously been well cared for in the past 150 years. It could have been made yesterday.
“Broderie Purse” is, to me, the most remarkable quilt in this year’s show — due to its age and like-new condition. It was created in 1820 from costly English chintz that was carefully cut out and appliquéd to the quilt surface. It was created as a show piece and hung on a wall. Its condition is fine to mint.
When viewing any these beauties, one wants to touch them. Quilts seem to invite people to experience them up close. White gloves are available for all visitors to wear, so the quilts will not be soiled as visitors examine them for tiny stitching and painstaking piecework.
The vintage clothing segment of the show is woven into the quilt show displays. The children’s items are especially noteworthy.
The 31st annual Antique Quilt and Vintage Clothing Show continues through Sept. 5 at the Folsom History Museum. The museum is located at 823 Sutter St. in the Folsom Historic District. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is $4 for adults, $2 for youth ages 12 to 17 and free for children younger than 12 and Folsom Historical Society members.
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