Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Elegant Geometry at IQSC

Today I had the great good fortune to visit the International Quilt Study Center & Museum's (IQSC) newest exhibit:  Elegant Geoemetry.  It features American and British mosaic patchwork from the late 1700's and 1800's.  The exhibit is guest curated by Bridget Long, British quilt historian.  The hexagon quilt pictured above was made by Anna Ruggles of the United Kingdon.  She finished it about 1840.  This woman was definitely into fussy cutting! 
The IQSC is located right here in Lincoln, Nebraska.   I have a family membership, and I believe I've seen all the exhibits.  I used to volunteer there 2005-2007, when the collection was housed in the home ec building on UNL's East Campus, before moving into the architectural climate-controlled marvel which is its home today. 
Mosaic patchwork is generally known as English paper piecing because it involves basting fabric to a paper template, and then whipstitching the pieces together at the edges using teeny tiny stitches.    Many Americans have quilts made from feed sack fabrics dating from the 1930s in a hexagon paper-pieced design that has come to be known as Grandmother's Flower Garden.  If you'd like to take your own virtual tour of the IQSC, go to www.QuiltStudy.org.  You can search the 3,000+ quilts in their collection and find other examples of English paper piecing, including Grandmother's Flower Garden quilts.  Enjoy!
I am working on a major English paper piecing project of my own -- read more about that on next Saturday's post.  It is not a traditional hexagon design.  It is jokingly referred to in my family as "the ugliest quilt in the world."  I, however, am rather fond of it, and my 23--year-old daughter loves it, so it will be hers when it is finished, probably many, many months from now.
I've displayed some of the template shapes I've collected for future English paper piecing projects.   The pie-shaped wedge is from my ugliest quilt in the world project.   Several shapes of precut templates are available from Paper Pieces of Sycamore, Illinois.  Check out their website at www.paperpieces.com.  Although handwork is very time-consuming, I find it a wonderful way to relax and destress --- focusing on those tiny stitches is somewhat meditative.  I even enjoy sewing on binding, a task most of my quilting friends find tedious. 
LeAnn aka pasqueflower


  1. Hi LeAnn - thank you for the blog visit and comment - I appreciate it!

    I enjoyed reading your blog; you're off to a wonderful start. I've always wanted to get into quilting, but am not sure if I ever will (so many other projects!). But, I can at least enjoy watching yours come to life.



    PS - I didn't know the Pasqueflower was the SD state flower. We have them here, and they are so beautiful!

  2. Thank you, Sonya, for your words of encouragement!