This past weekend, a very special collective series of exhibits opened around my town called the Norwalk Quilt Trail.
Spread across seven of the city's museums, this is the first major collaboration of this sort. The exhibit invites us to discover a form of Americana that combines elements of art, history and culture. And one of the venues is right down the street from my house at the Rowayton Historical Society (RHS), the same location where I hosted a Valentine Tea last February.
The Norwalk Quilt Trail, celebrating the craftsmanship and beauty of quilts made and collected in our city, was the brainchild of my dear friend Lesley Korzennik, the Curatorial Director of the RHS. (Remember my post about a Swiss Chalet dollhouse? How about the Caribbean dollhouse? Both of those belong to Lesley!)
The RHS exhibit is called A Common Thread: Family History Told through Quilting. Above, Lesley stands in front of a quilt made by her mother as a loving tribute to Lesley's late husband, Henry. It consists of pieces cut from all of his favorite plaid shirts.
Below is my contribution to the show, a mariner's compass quilt from the late 1800s and a nod to Rowayton's seafaring past.
Here are more beautiful quilts from the RHS exhibit . . .
I was particularly intrigued with the circa 1915 quilt, above, made from straight lengths of ribbon that were manufactured in the textile and hat factories of Norwalk.
I love how Lesley staged this old Singer sewing machine as though someone is right in the midst of piecing together a LeMoyne star pattern quilt.
This display case is dedicated to the art of the yo-yo quilt, a style of quilt I like because it is so whimsical and resourceful.
My favorite part of the RHS exhibit was this little vignette. Love those tiny quilts and the set of Victorian doll furniture sitting on that small, hand painted floor cloth!
Over the next several months, I'm looking forward to exploring the other venues participating in this exhibit — an historic mansion, a lighthouse, a train switch tower museum, a children's museum and more — with these themes: The Craze of Crazy Quilts; Norwalk Blocks from the AIDS Memorial Quilt; Collected and Cherished: Quilts Made and Collected in Norwalk; Beauty, Invention and Practicality: Exploring Norwalk Quilts; Against the Elements: Keeping Warm at the Lighthouse; Trains, Planes and Automobiles; and Quilts Made by Norwalk Children from the 1970s to Today.
Along with the exhibits, there are a number of special events planned: a gallery talk, a color workshop, and lectures about crazy quilts, Civil War quilts, and Connecticut quilts from 1759–1950.
This impressive exhibit runs from May 14 through November 16. For more information, visit the Norwalk Quilt Trail website here.