|I feel the love whenever I see this hearts applique block|
The hearts around the outer edge are alternating with two colors: over-dyed green print floral and solid cheddar orange. The larger hearts inside the outer row are oxblood/burgundy, and the center piece is solid cheddar orange. Although I do not have a specific source for the design, it seems like something you might see in Pennsylvania Dutch/German painted furniture. This possible design reference brings me back to the first time I saw the quilt in November, 2001.
|Full view of the quilt, hanging in my loft.|
Two months earlier, I was airborne during the terrorist attacks of September 11th, on my way to a convention in Detroit. During the flight, the pilot made an announcement, saying that we were experiencing a national emergency and all airplanes in the United States were being landed. We were somewhere near the California border, and turned around to go back to Portland. Before landing, we would circle the area to burn off some fuel in order to land more safely. When I got out of the plane, I learned what had been happening that day. The convention was cancelled, and eventually rescheduled at a new location in November. That's what brought me to Louisville, Kentucky.
Since I was going to Louisville, I contacted Shelly Zegart to see if she was available for a visit. Shelly sold me my first quilt about 12 years earlier, and we'd been in touch recently about an exhibition of quilts in New York. I was lending two quilts for the exhibition, called Heritage of Genius, which was to be displayed in three of the Durst buildings in midtown Manhattan. Luckily, Shelly had some time, and I visited with her for probably a couple hours at her home.
I had expected to see a lot of quilts that day, but we mostly just talked about quilts. Toward the end of our visit, I asked if I could see some quilts, and she led me to an upstairs guest room to show me the one quilt I would see that day. The quilt was in a box under the bed, and when she pulled it out, the quilt literally knocked me backwards a couple steps. I just about fell over. It was the Album with Lyre Medallion, and it was the most magnificent quilt I'd ever seen. The density of quilting, freshness of the fabrics, the fine binding, and the overall design just knocked my socks off. I loved the quilt!
At the time, the quilt had recently come from the estate of Sandra Mitchell, separated from its family history and misidentified as a Pennsylvania quilt from 1865. I wrote about it in my AQSG Seminar Poster Presentation. When I think about the whole story, the heart block could be one of the reasons why the quilt was identified as coming from Pennsylvania. Speaking of location origins, I wanted to add that although the quilt is attributed as having West Virginia origins, when it was made, that area of West Virginia was actually Virginia. Thank you to Barb Garrett for reminding me about this point.