Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Day In Raleigh!

Lisa and I had a fun trip over to Raleigh yesterday! Our main objective? To check out the quilts in the museum archives…she had selected 10 that she wanted to inspect, and inspect we did..down in the tombs, white gloves on, inspecting, measuring, oohing, ahhhing, pondering and wondering about the makers and their stories.

I’ve driven THROUGH Raleigh before, or the outskirts of it, but never have been down town, and there are some great buildings down there! We also worked our way through bundles and bunches of kids on school field trips to the Museum ---It’s a state funded museum so it is open to the public free, which was nice to know! I’ll definitely be going back!

Isn't this a fun pic with the signs? Which way to go first?

Look close.....can you find the dinosaur in the round windows above?

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This pic is of me in front of the museum with one of the statues! What a great day for wandering around with short sleeves just enjoying the sunshine.

Beautiful "Carolina Blue" sky, gentle breezes, birds chirping --And it hit me…for the first time this season. That “MOMENT” when you really know that it is REALLY here….that ambrosia of the senses, the perfume of the Gods, that balm for the soul….I smelled LAWN MOWER! I smelled FRESH CUT GRASS! And I knew it was the perfect day!

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Here is Lisa getting up close and personal with a terrific 1880s applique! And you see that bit of yellow/green in the front left? That is a utility quilt basically in the “hearts and gizzards” pattern made by a former slave somewhere between 1890 and 1910.

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It’s one of those stories that just sticks to you, making you wish you knew more. The fabrics are crude in origin. That yellow? That’s the color you get when using onions to dye your fabrics. The green? That was home dyed too. This quilt was made THICK to be warm out of necessity. The batting is heavy cotton encased in what resembled cheesecloth….it was also stitched, or big-stitch quilted to keep the cotton from migrating..and then this primitively pieced top and a separate backing, most likely made of “Alamance Plaid” was added to the cheesecloth encased cotton batting and quilted with black thread. It is as heavy as a sleeping bag, and I bet it kept many loved ones warm during cold winter nights.

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This piece didn’t hold the dye like the other muslin did! There were A LOT of great quilts. Some nearly perfect in every stitch. This humble one is the one that tore at my heart. I'll let Lisa tell you about the others when she is good and ready!

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Down in the Archives! White gloves and camera!

Thanks for a wonderful day, Lisa! I hope we can do it again soon!


  1. Enjoyed reading about that "hearts and gizzards" quilt. What a wonderful experience to view history captured in fabric, batting, and thread.

  2. What an amazing day and experience. If only antiques came with a journal, the tales they could tell. I bet you were inspired!

  3. You had a great great day. Life is good. Have you checked out sewing for Japan. http://pinkfigdesign.blogspot.com/2011/03/project-for-japan.html

  4. How did you get in there?
    It does not look open to the public.
    What fun :0).

    Happy Sewing

  5. That looks like fun. I'm curious too if you just need an appointment to go see these, if they let anyone who makes a request in, etc. Maybe you could blog that tomorrow? Thanks for sharing, Bonnie!

  6. The "hearts and gizzards" quilt is truly amazing... I can see why it called to you...

  7. Bonnie, You always seem to find yourself with one of these life like statues. I wonder when I'll see you posing with another. This gentlemen is the third I can recall since you visited me and Bob Hope! Sandi

  8. I am so jealous! What a great thing to do with a BFF (Best Fabric Friend).


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