Yesterday, I was at the 2013 Quilt Show, 100 Years of Quilting, for the International Plowing Match, in Mitchell, Ontario. This year is the 100th anniversary of the Plowing Match. All of the competition quilts are previewed every August, before the actual Plowing Match in September. Yes, it is an actual plowing match, of the old sort with ancient plows pulled by teams of horses. It's held in farmers' fields and travels around southern Ontario every year. I have yet to attend, but have heard it is quite an event. The quilt show is only a small part of this much larger rural expo. See the link here, and the video, here.
There were so many wonderful quilts to see, I hardly know where to begin! I am sure, dear readers, that you will be interested in much of what I saw.
There was a stunning display of quilts through each decade of the last 100 years, beginning with an exquisite Log Cabin (1/2" logs) made in 1916, by Shirley Russell of Mitchell, a beautiful Sawtooth Square made in the 1920's, with an unknown origin, and a scrappy Double Wedding Ring made in the 1930's by Linda Bartlett of Exeter.
Many of these old quilts had a photo of the original quiltmaker, along with a bit of their story. This crazy quilt was one of many crazy quilts on display, pieced by Fanny Townsend Johns in 1890, and finished by Gertie Johns.
And this English Paper Pieced (1" hexies)
quilt was hand pieced over the years by Muriel Scherbarth dated 1892, and has been handed down through the generations. All of these quilts are in remarkably excellent condition, brought out of closets and cedar chests, and off of beds to show at this show, and rival any I have seen anywhere else, including museums.
These next two photos will give you an idea of the variety of the other fabulous old quilts from the community that were on display.
I was completely in awe, and had not expected to see such a show. I have heard many people around here speak of quilts in their families. Everyone has a quilt story to tell. Quilting is so prevalent in this area that everyone has a grandmother or mother or aunt or sister or neighbour or cousin that does some quilting! It would not be an exaggeration to say that every house has a handmade quilt in it, but to see so many brought out to be seen at one time was truly amazing to me. These are seemingly everyday quilts, made with love and used to keep the family warm, and are exceptional to be on display like this.
There was one other textile piece that really captured my attention. It was this Counter Pane, made by 18 year old Christena Hart Colquhoun from Mitchell in 1892, for her wedding trousseau. It is a technique of pulling thread and then embroidering around the hole to form a pattern in the cloth. It would have been a slow process, and carefully planned so the design was well placed. Many hours by candlelight during the long winter nights would have been spent on this treasure. Have you ever seen anything more exquisite? And I have to wonder how much it has been actually used, since it is in such excellent condition.
It seems I cannot load any more photos on this post, so I will continue with another one! The story of the International Plowing Match 2013 Quilt Show, 100 Years in the Making, is not yet finished.