Quilt Show Fun in Burke, South Dakota
On Saturday I was invited to do a trunk show for the Rosebud Quilt Guild during their semi-annual quilt show in Burke, South Dakota. I was there all day so I had plenty of time to look at the quilts.
This was one of the first quilts to catch my eye. At first glance, I thought the Dresden Plates were made from contemporary batiks, but the setting hinted differently.
Closer inspection showed that the blocks were indeed from decades past, the sixties or seventies maybe. I’m not a fabric or quilt dating expert. But it does illustrate that everything old is new again.
I got a kick out of these blocks in a quilt by my hostess, Nancy Krier. She really understands how to do scrappy.
See how there are renegade patches of different fabrics?
The varied green patches in this block add a lot of interest.
Look at this one. Five aqua patches match, but the sixth one is different!
It’s similar enough to maintain the design, but it does not “match.” Such is the stuff of successful scrap quilts.
I noticed the next quilt right away because I just co-hosted a retreat on the topic of string piecing.
This is a wonderful way to use your skinniest leftover strips. The appliqué takes it to another level.
The piecing of these blocks would not be for the faint of heart. But it didn’t seem to faze an old-timer named Frieda Fuhrman. Things got really interesting when I stepped in for a closer look.
I looked at the quilting. And then I looked again! Because oh my word, I could hardly believe it, this antique quilt was machine quilted. And not just machine quilted, but machine quilted with a zigzag stitch!
Isn’t that something? I know that machine quilting was used decades ago because Ernest Haight from Nebraska (my home state) was one of its pioneers. But it was the zigzag that really intrigued me.
Here’s a closer look at one of the alternate green blocks. I think that zigzag is very effective.
Frieda Fuhrman was also credited with another quilt: embroidered blocks with all of the state flowers. This one was also machine quilted with a zigzag stitch. The actual quilting was credited to Frances Fuhrman.
Two other quilts drew my attention as well. These brightly-colored fans with a lime green border and an appliqué quilt on a nearly neon pink background stopped me in my tracks.
Both were made in the mid 1970s. Some of the fabrics looked to be polished cottons or perhaps cotton/poly blends. Their colors hadn’t faded a bit in 40 years.
There was a little bit of modern going on in Burke…
…and there was an amazing scrappy raffle quilt. They drew for the winner just after I left, and they didn’t call me to come back so I must not have won. I admired the way the scrappy theme of their show, their raffle quilt and their speaker (me) all tied together! What a great idea.
I try to use whatever I observe in a quilt show as a learning experience. Next time you see quilts at a quilt show, during show and tell or on museum exhibit, pay close attention and see what you can discover!