The Show, 2021, Part 3

October 1 dawned bright and clear, presaging two days of some of the best weather New Jersey has to offer--balmy fall days.

At 9:15 we welcomed an art class of 60 students from Ridgewood High School for a quick visit before the Show opened at 10. They picked a quilt and sat on the floor to sketch. They were looking at form and shape and color, but also thinking about the nature of "art" and the role of women in its creation.

Meanwhile at the museum, Kay Yeomans was leading a gallery tour of the coverlet exhibit. Several coverlet and weaving experts were present and contributed to a lively conversation.

On Saturday Peggy Norris led a tour of the quilt gallery.

Admissions and book sales were handled at tables outside. Raffle sales at the quilt display were in front of "Liberty," the raffle quilt, a Bicentennial cross-stitch quilt, hand-quilted in 2019. Raffle ticket sales raised over $1200 to support show expenses. The winning ticket belonged to Anthea Luter of Ridgewood. She said, "I appreciate the many hours of time, love and work that went into creating this precious piece. It is a treasure!"

At the Schoolhouse Museum more than 36 coverlets were on exhibit. Everywhere people were looking carefully and discussing the display.

To learn more about the coverlets, see our exhibit catalog, Stitched and Woven.

The quilt display in the Education Building featured 82 quilts. The original count was 80. One was stranded in Vermont in COVID quarantine (the Forshee Friendship Quilt). Three were added. A sweet pink crib quilt and a schoolhouse quilt were from Herb Carlough's family. An embroidered signature quilt from the Wortendyke M. E. Church was a recent donation to the Schoolhouse Museum. Neither these three nor the Ackerman-Birdsall Album quilt are in the exhibit catalog.

The four quilts facing the viewer on entering the hall included two crazy quilts made in Ramsey and two silk and velvet quilts from the same time period in the log cabin pattern (or its pineapple variation).

Most of the quilts were hung in groups of three. Due to certain size constraints, not all the combinations were logical, but all were interesting.

These three quilts are all from different time periods. The arrangement of roughly triangular shapes in diagonal rows is very apparent when they are all together.

These three quilts highlight the red and green tradition in applique.

Across the back of the hall were four of our oldest quilts. On the left in the photo above is the Caesar's Crown quilt made by Maria Vernooy (owned by Friends of the Hermitage, Inc.) and on the right the Hinsdale Tree of Life Quilt (owned by Mahwah Museum).

There was lots of conversation and contemplation.

On Saturday afternoon Dana Balsamo gave a lively, virtual lecture, "300 Years of American Quilts." The lecture was enjoyed in the Auditorium at Ridgewood Public Library and from home. Balsamo is a quilt collector, dealer, appraiser, and auctioneer. Her slide show presented a timeline of how quilts developed in America, how styles evolved, how history inspired quiltmakers in the past and continues to do so.

Marian and Mary Koob in front of their grandmother's quilt.

Sheryl Yeomans Jordan and her daughter Anne, 5, in front of the quilt made by Anne's great-great grandmother.

All too soon the show was over. Volunteers helped take down the show and return the items to their owners and by 7 pm on Saturday the Hall was ready for Sunday coffee hour.

By Monday the Museum was almost restored to the "A is for Artistry" exhibit. The last item is on the bed waiting to the picked up and the hand truck needs to be put away.

For more information about the coverlets and quilts, see our exhibit catalog, Stitched and Woven.

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