I was able to get to Bennington VT to the Bennington Museum last week, to see The Quilt. I wasn’t able to be there for Brenda’s talk – I do hope someone will tell us about it.
The Quilt is displayed in a gallery upstairs with two antique quilts from the museum collection and a selection of Peace quilts from Haiti. It is on a tilted board (covered with a soft fabric) and displayed behind a rope and under low lighting. Absolutely no flash photography allowed, so I have no digital pics to share.
Here are some observations:
This time, the Quilt is displayed with what we know as the left side at the top. Rebecca’s basket is right side up, and Jane’s signature square is in the lower left.
The corner with the five pointed white star (Longwood): the star is made of a shirting print. I guess this is shown in Brenda’s book but I never noticed it before. The pink five pointed star on this corner appears to be reverse-appliqued.
Triangle BR9 Sue's Garden: the smallest piece near the point of the triangle is appliquéd on, not pieced in. TR6 Carla's Candle Flame shows some fabric bleeding. Also, Jane used dark thread on the top melon and I can see her stitches! I felt close to her then.
Jane did use different background fabrics – at least they aged differently to slightly different shades. And at least one block has pieces of background fabric with a twill weave. (think chinos, or gabardine) Yes I was very close to the Quilt – I tried not to breathe on it or drool on it. I did not touch it though I could have reached out and done so.
In the signature square, 1863 is very obvious. Only in a strong light does one see the thread behind the fabric, linking the numbers.
Hunter’s Moon: I could see the detail on this brown striped print, not nearly as ‘solid’ as I thought.
A number of blocks are smaller than 4.5 inches – in some cases a bit smaller. Jane framed them with white fabric on all 4 sides.
L-10 Nan's Naiad shows up well. The blue fabric is not as pale as I thought. The little triangles are appliquéd of course.
B-12 Starflower really did appear to be reverse appliquéd. I will take heart and do mine the same way.
And most of all: I am AMAZED at the variety of fabric used in this quilt.