We had a fabulous time in Dallas last week visiting Moda Fabrics (United Notions) for their annual Open House. Quilt shop owners from all over the country enjoyed shopping the warehouse, visiting with Moda designers, and meeting vendors showing demos of their products. They kept us well fed and the company staff were very friendly and helpful.
Moda's owner, Mark Dunn, founded Moda Fabrics forty years ago; he was truly a pioneer in the quilting business when quilting wasn't cool. He may be a bit eccentric in tastes and style, but he is also very humble with a quiet manner. United Notions caters to its customers, the independent retail quilt shops; Mark considers his company an independent business as well.
Mark gave us a tour of his quilt museum which displays some of the antique quilts from his collection.
This is a pineapple log cabin quilt which was made in the 1800's, and a reproduction quilt made with new fabrics (Moda's, of course!).
These swatch books consist of actual old fabrics which are imitated for new reproduction style fabrics.
This cheddar quilt is well over 100 years old and in spectacular condition. The one on the stand below is a new reproduction of it.
The date of this crazy quilt is unknown, but probably late 1800's. There are three fabrics in it with images of Abraham Lincoln; that was often done in those days when a candidate was running for office.
This is a charm quilt made by a young girl in the 1880's who died at age 15 of spinal meningitis. Here is part of the description from the back of the quilt:
"This quilt is called a Charm quilt because no two fabrics are repeated in it but all are cut in the same shape. Quilts of this sort were made to use scraps, but also to remember friends and family because in order to get this many different fabrics, scraps that belonged to friends and family of the maker were sought... Today this quilt serves as an encyclopedia of fabrics available during the last quarter of the nineteenth century.
It is not inconceivable that she pieced and quilted this quilt while she was battling the disease as hand piecing and hand quilting were likely activities that she could do until close to her death."
Seeing these old quilts is touching and inspiring. It makes one wonder about the lives of the women many years ago who labored over these, what we would now consider, works of art.
This is my first blog post; what a great way to begin! Look soon for my second which tells more about my trip to Moda Fabrics. The blog is one way I can take you there with me so that you can experience it, too!