Telling Stories With Quilts

Mary Ellen Cummings

Where did the last six months go? There are only 115 days left before Christmas and you havenít started your quilted gifts yet! August is a good time to plan your projects, but donít start anything until you have visited the Quilt Odyssey 20001 at the Eisenhower Center, Gettysburg, Pa. The Odyssey last year was fantastic. Iím sure this yearís event will be just as great. The show starts on Thursday, August 2. There will be classes, seminars and lectures by some of the top names in Quilt circles. There will also be quilts on display and a large merchantís mall.

June 22 through 24, the Four County Quilters held their 27th annual quilt show at Rose Hill Manor Park in Frederick, Md. There were 145 quilts and quilted items, setting a new record in participation. There were two dozen Pink Ribbon Quilts made in honor of those individuals who have had breast cancer.

In past shows, I have seen several "Double Wedding Ring" quilts. However, at Rose Hill, as at the Lancaster Show, "Wedding Rings" barely made the scene. At Rose Hill there was one bed-sized Wedding Ring and one small wall hanging. One of my quilting friends reported that at the Church of the Brethren International Relief auction, earlier this year, Wedding Ring quilts were conspicuous by their absence.

Since quilts have stories to tell, is it possible the scarcity of Wedding Ring quilts is telling us something about romance and marriage today? Of course, it could also mean that the style of Wedding Ring quilts can not easily be altered to be works of art.

At Rose Hill, some of the quilts displayed reflected todayís trend of making an artistic statement with a quilt. However, most quilts used traditional patterns with a new twist. Some were hand-pieced and quilted. Foundation piecing, fusion and strip-piecing methods were used, as well as machine sewing and quilting. A few were quilted with a long-arm quilting machine.

I believe the most fascinating part of Rose Hillís show was the originality of the names chosen by the quilters. Two quilts were called "Molomin Trilogy": what does it mean? Then there were names like "Open at Last," "His Lordshipís Peacocks," and "Lollipop Shoo-Fly." We must not forget "Fall Folk Cat" and "Geese in the Rain Forest."

Congratulations to Four County Quilters for another great show.

 Read other Quilting articles by Mary Ellen Cummings