This morning we attended a quilt show at the Kutztown (PA) Area Historical Society, Pennsylvania’s Quilt Treasures: The Art of the Needle. Consisting of 32 19th century quilts from the collection of Arlan & Pat Christ, the show features a broad spectrum of eastern Pennsylvania quilts, both patchwork and applique. There’s something for everyone, from early chintz-bordered Rob Peter to Pay Paul quilts, elaborate Whig Rose and less vivid but beautifully quilted lily and tulip appliques. And there’s a lovely book available to accompany the show, so you can revisit the show after it ends.
Some of my favorites may be less extolled than some of the earlier quilts, but in the room devoted to post Civil War quilts there was a wonderful pinwheels quilt that had layers of pattern on pattern, the central four blocks forming a sort of medallion surrounded in trip around the world style by coordinated blocks in three more color combinations, all sashed with a striking striped shirting fabric that really set off the entire design. Also notable was an ocean waves quilt featuring stars in the blocks between sets of waves, and a glorious lone star, from the collection of the late Richard and Rosemarie Machmer.
Arlan and Pat have been seriously collecting antique quilts for a relatively short time, but have a well developed eye – Pat has been quilting for much longer than she’s been collecting. The richness, variety and overall quality of the show does much to reinforce the impression that eastern Pennsylvania still is fertile ground for the serious quilt collector, especially one who loves vivid color. The show continues tomorrow, and Sundays through May 24th, noon to 4 PM.