Quilts were displayed in themes throughout the house: pink and green, signature, applique, family, local (Winchester/Frederick County), and utilitarian
I just finished another fantastic quilt history/appreciation weekend. The Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society (in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley) presented “A Focus on Quilts from the Lower Shenandoah Valley.” For those familiar with the pattern, this is the base of Mary Robare’s research on the “Apple Pie Ridge Star.”
One version of the Apple Pie Ridge Star pattern
We kicked off the weekend with a house and quilt tour at Cherry Row, a late 18th century home built by a quaker couple outside of Winchester, Virginia. The current owners are restoring it to be as close as possible to it’s c. 1780 origins while still including some of those 21st century comforts we don’t want to live without, like plumbing, a refrigerator and microwave. The latter two items are artfully hidden behind period-looking cabinetry.
Cherry Row, c. 1780 home situated on Apple Pie Ridge
In addition to a magnificent house with loads of local antique furniture, the owners have amassed an impressive quilt collection. They generously allowed the visitors to inspect all of their restored rooms and most of the rooms had thematically arranged portions of their quilt collection (see photo above). Docents were on hand to share information about the quilts, the owners’ collecting philosophy and even more information about other objects in the rooms.
View from house to road on Apple Pie Ridge
View from the backyard.
Once we exhausted ourselves looking at quilts we could go outside to take in the serene beauty of the ridge and imagine that little has changed in the countryside since the first Quaker couple started construction on their home that has remained inhabited for the last 230 years.
Pink and green apple blossom and basket quilt
I must point out the pink and green quilts included in the owners’ collection. As you may have deduced, apples are a critical component of the economy, history and life on Apple Pie Ridge. Winchester has an Apple Blossom Festival every year and that is the excuse to break out a profusion of pink and green quilts, many with apple blossom motifs. My particular favorite vignette was the wonderful green bench (below) with hand pieced/hand quilted pink and green quilt draped over the back.
After our house tour, we were welcomed at the the historical society’s lecture hall and enjoyed a lecture by Alden O’Brien, Quilt and Textiles Curator at the DAR Museum in Washington, DC, on the Quilts of Amelia Lauck. On Saturday, we had four more interesting and enlightening lectures: Tracking the Apple Pie Ridge Star, by Mary Robare; Quilts for Two Centuries, by Pam Pampe; Shenandoah Patriots-Martz Family Quilts, 1838-1860, by Neva Hart and, finally, Domesticating Quilts: Furnishings, Formalism, and Folk Art, by Linda Eaton.
Congratulations and thank you to the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society for a quality educational and sensory experience!
I couldn’t sign off without one more antique quilt photo.
P.S. Wish you could have attended this terrific quilt event? Well, you missed this one but stay tuned for information on the upcoming DAR exhibit: “Eye on Elegance: Early Quilts of Maryland & Virginia” and the corresponding symposium.