Saturday, February 23, 2013

Hand Quilted Gems

Yesterday we attended the 41st annual Quilting Workshop sponsored by Zion Mennonite Church in Hubbard, Oregon.  It was my first time visiting this quilt show, and it's already on my calendar for next year!  Along with the displays of approximately 100 antique, vintage and contemporary quilts, there were demonstrations of needle turn applique, hand quilting on an old fashioned frame, making woven star ornaments, piecing, etc.  The quilter's group meets at the church every Thursday, and according to the program provided, had already been meeting for about 70 years at the time the first annual Quilting Workshop was held in 1973!  These ladies share their knowledge as a service to others and there is no admission charge to attend the annual workshop and quilt show, however any donations received are designated for a particular mission project each year.  This year's donations will be sent to the Senior Center in El Torno, Bolivia.    I came away from the show wishing it were not an hour-plus drive each way, as this is exactly the kind of group I would dearly love to join and learn from. 

So different from most of the quilt shows I've attended, here nearly all the quilts on display are hand quilted!  Some of the older ones were both tied and hand quilted.  One of the more contemporary quilts I noticed was machine quilted in the center, however the plain outer borders were expertly hand quilted, the maker evidently choosing to feature her hand stitching where it would have the most impact.

We came away with approximately 200 photos, and this post and probably the next will feature a few of our favorites.  I attempted to highlight some of the wonderful quilting motifs, and the especially fine and even stitching found on many of the examples.  So, without further ado:

 This quilt, possibly my very favorite in the show, was labeled "Orange and Teal Summer Quilt."  According to the card it was made in the early 1900s and resided in a trunk on the family farm in Ohio for nearly 90 years. 

 This quilt labeled "Zigzag Winter Quilt" was also created in the early 1900s and stored in the same trunk as the first quilt above.  Both appeared to be in excellent condition.

 Embroidered on the central block of this beauty are the words "from Grandmother" and "1917."
This huge hexie quilt was labeled "Grandmother's Flower Garden" and dated 1900s.

This gorgeous 1930s Grandmother's Flower Garden stole my heart with it's sunshine yellow border.  If I ever come under the hexie spell, this is the one I'll model mine after!

This 1930s quilt titled "Dahlia" has amazingly vibrant colors for its age.  This was one example of the quilt being both tied and hand quilted.  It has great loft, like a modern comforter. 

 A 1930s Sunbonnet Sue, in wonderful condition.
A 1940s embroidered flower basket quilt. 
Basket and quilting detail.

There were several outstanding examples of the Lone Star pattern.  Here is one, with exquisite hand quilting.  Many of the large quilts were displayed folded so we were unable to photograph the entire quilt.
Some of the antique and vintage household items also on display. 

Another very striking Radiant Star quilt, completed in 2012. 
 Gorgeous quilting motifs and stitching.
The label attached to this beauty indicates it was purchased at the Brownsville General Store in the 1980s as a kit.   Detail of the applique in the photo below.

Next post will feature some of the many embroidered quilts in the show, as well as more applique and pieced items.  It is obvious from viewing these quilts that they have been treasured by their makers and those who have inherited them, they are all in excellent condition.  If you love traditional quilts and hand quilting, this is a not-to-be-missed event!


  1. All of them are just beautiful, I especially like the Lone Stars. Thanks for sharing your pictures!

  2. I would love to see a show like that. Wouldn't it be something to be able to quilt with the ladies who put on this show?!?
    I think I love the zigzag log cabin best--looks so comfy and homey.
    Thanks for sharing these with us!

  3. What a wonderful experience! I grew up around Mennonite and Apostolic Christian quiltmakers--they had sooooo much knowledge at a time when there were very few quilt books to guide us newbies--and the internet hadn't yet been invented!

  4. I'm not sure which is my favorite but they are all exquisite!! Hand quilting is not something that is possible for me any longer, unfortunately. I am thankful that machine stitching is working so well. Gorgeous post and I look forward to future posts! Hugs, Doreen

  5. What beautiful quilts! I used to hand quilt but it takes so long! It is a different look which is very unique. Thank you so much for sharing. Love them!

  6. Beautiful quilts and great photos. We ended up staying home today. Too much to do. I'll have to enjoy your pictures. Next year's show will definitely be on my calendar!

  7. Thanks for taking us along, the quilts are beautiful, you'd never know they aren't recent.

  8. Many thanks for your wonderful narrative and gorgeous pictures of the exhibit. I was fortunate to see Amish Abstractions at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park a few years back; it may be the seminal event that drove me to begin exploring fabric art and quilting blogs. Stunning hand quilting on every single quilt. The most incredible crazy quilt I have seen to date. Just magnificent-all sixty quilts were works of art and wonders to behold. I want to see Gees Bend next (in person).


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