Rock Hill, South Carolina has a Come See Me Festival every spring and this year one of the events was The Pew Quilt Show. This was not a quilt show about blue ribbons and grand prize winners, although I’m sure many of these quilts have won or could win them! This was a show about the quilts and their stories.
The Quilts were displayed draped over pews and a path was marked for you to follow. The cards at the ends of the pew cleverly faced the direction traffic flowed – you can see in the above picture the ones on the right have writing on the front and the ones on the left have writing on the other side as traffic comes up the isle.
People in the congregation and community cleaned out their attics, closets and cedar chests to share these quilts and the stories behind them. It was delightful to see how quilting has evolved as a craft by seeing the quilts from all different decades. The earliest quilts were hand quilted and later ones were machine quilted.
It was fun to see the tried and true familiar patchwork patterns. There was this Flower Basket quilted in the early 1900’s.
And several Grandmother’s Flower Gardens- all hand quilted. I had to smile at the hexagons so popular today in modern quilting!
This treasure, a nine-patch Postage Stamp from around 1900, is a perfect example of how quilters of that day used every scrap of fabric they could get their hands on. Today we look for “stash-busting” projects to use up our fabric!
Another classic pattern– the double wedding ring.
I believe these next two are versions of the Dahlia and Dahlia Star patterns…
And what show would be complete without Sunbonnet Sue! Love the embroidery on this one!
This is the first quilt of someone’s grandmother who was a teenager in the 1920’s when she made the quilt.
One of the oldest quilts was this gorgeous crazy quilt- a popular style at the time from 1884. It was made for the marriage of the owner’s great-grandmother. Every panel is different and the embroidery is incredible.
Adding hand embroidery is a popular trend in quilting today so I must share these two quilts featuring embroidery. Series of images were a popular trend to be made into quilts. Such as dolls from around the world……
and birds. It took the maker 8 years to embroider all 50 state birds –mostly done while she watched her 6 children at swim meets!
There were modern masterpieces at the show too.
This cathedral window quilt is amazing and the story behind it shared by the owner is one I think many of us can relate to:
My sister made this for me. I love to do stained glass as a hobby. She said it reminded her of my stained glass. She made it while binge watching seasons 1-6 of 24. She calls it her “24” quilt.
The quilt below was made in 2011. It is from the book, “The Civil War Love Letter Quilt: 121 Quilt Blocks inspired by Love and War.” All 121 blocks were paper pieced, then hand quilted. I had a chance to speak with Marlee who made the quilt. She had a number of quilts in the show and said she hand quilted most of her quilts because she found it relaxing. She also told me they were all quilted with Coats & Clark Hand Quilting thread – it is her favorite! (I promise I didn’t prompt her to say that!) This quilt is incredible and took her 1 1/2 years to finish.
There were fun quilts there too- including a T-shirt quilt made from shirts from different years of the festival.
I felt inspired when I left the show- by the quilts and by the stories behind them. If you would like to see more of the quilts, here is a link.