Monday, November 8, 2010

"The Past Lives On"

"The Past Lives On" by Nanette Fleischman
The Alliance for American Quilts is holding its annual benefit auction this month, and is auctioning some wonderful little gems on eBay. This year's theme is "New From Old" and it is a contest for quilters of all ages that celebrates the past in the frame of the present. There were a bunch of quilts that caught my attention in the first week of the auction, but the bidding for all the lots was ending at the same time - so I had to pick one.

My choice was "The Past Lives On" by AAQ member Nanette Fleischmann of Burnsville, North Carolina. The quilt is made of cotton with raw edge applique, machine quilted, with a nine-patch star on the back. It is 16" square, as are all the other quilts in the auction. Fleischman provided a lovely description of the quilt.

"Living in nothern Indiana for close to forty years, I witnessed the Amish people in their quiet ways of faithfulness to God, to their communities and most of all to their families. These women didn't have zigzag, metallic thread, batik fabrics, rotary cutters, cutting mats or computer sewing machines. They simply cut up their old cotton and wool clothing and recycled them into masterpieces."

I absolutely love pictorial quilts. The irony in that is I haven't collected many, but the reason is I've collected mostly pre-1900 quilts...until recently. The Amish buggy with the orange safety triangle is what drew me to this quilt. I remember seeing these in Pennsylvania when I was 12 years old. My mother and I would drive to Pennsylvania for weekend swim meets, and the buggies with their triangles opened a window to a culture I had not known before. Fleischman's quilt beautifully captures my memories of driving through Pennsylvania with Mom, and for that, I give many thanks.

The auctions will continue this week on eBay. For more details, visit the Alliance for American Quilts web site:


  1. How nice that the quilt brings back such wonderful memories! I find that happens so often when we exhibit quilts in displays at the library. It's fun to listen to people converse about memories as they view the quilts. :-)

  2. I saw many of these little quilts at the Knoxville show...I was really surprised to see them come up for auction! (have my eye on one...and such a good cause!)

  3. I agree. And lucky me, the AAQ has put me in touch with the maker and I'm getting more information about her to go with the records. She is glad somebody cares. Well, of course I care!! Provenance is everything these days.

  4. Nice memories and family history! My mom did lots of picture type quilts. I REALLY should take pictures and post!

    Oh, and I do not use rotary cutters...and I prefer simple tools only~ It seems more authentic and connected to those from the past~