Curators in Stitches

Two Indiana State Museum staffers spent the day at the Indiana State Fair judging in the Antique Quilts and Coverlets Division. Pictured is a great example of a blue and white quilt from 1915, signed and dated on the back.

How are quilts judged? Kathleen McLary, Indiana State Museum Exec. VP for Historic Sites (and quilt expert and author) noted that this particular Double Irish Chain-patterned quilt is in good, clean condition,  lies flat, is pieced well and shows little aging or yellowing. Mary Jane Teeters-Eichacker, Curator of Social History at the museum and textile expert, also commented that the quilt is just a great example of a 2-color quilt of that time.

But will it win a coveted Indiana State Fair ribbon? You’ll have to visit the Home and Family Arts Building at the Indiana State Fair, Aug. 7 through 23 to find out! You’ll be able to view hundreds and hundreds of handmade objects, in addition to this one quilt.

It is also worth noting that the Indiana State Museum houses the largest and best documented collection of Indiana Amish quilts in the world, The Pottinger Collection. It includes 443 quilts and hundreds of blocks, patterns, and associated Amish toys, dolls, clothing and household furnishings. There are hundreds of additional quilts in the Indiana State Museum collection, as well. You should come see them!

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One Response

  1. My grandma, Zelma N. Smith, won the blue ribbon for her “Farm Animal” quilt in 1925’s Indianapolis State Fair. I have the quilt and the newspaper clippings in which she made the patterns from, but over the years, the blue ribbon got lost. Does anyone have records of winners that far back? I would love to have some sort of documentaton to go with my quilt. I would love to share and display it with a few local shows. Any information you might provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Christi Semmel

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