Thursday I did a Program on Quilting Collecting to the Aiken Town and Country Club. What a great group of women and what wonderful quilts they brought with them!
The night before the program I started to get a bit nervous...which hardly ever happens with me. I rewrote my outline, I pulled more quilts into the bins (just in case no-one brought a quilt to talk about) and I added more "ancillary" props like feedsacks, old Mountain mist patterns, some old quilt blocks, and some old marking tools. I'm not sure if I was nervous about not being able to fill 90 minutes or that I wouldn't be able to finish in 90 minutes...
Usually I organize my presentation around the history of quilting. My audience has always been quilters or genealogy groups. Since this group was focused on antique collecting I changed the emphasize from history of quilting to evaluating a quilt for condition, workmanship and date made. I started with 4 quilts in poor condition and then worked up to excellent. I tried to have a quilt from varying time periods in each group.
I think it worked well. In 90 minutes folks can learn to spot condition issues and get an idea of what good workmanship looks like. As far as the date part I pointed them to the resources. (though I am fairly sure they all can tell a 1930's from a civil war era now!)
There was a great variety of quilts in the audience....tiny 1930 baby wedding ring quilts (two almost alike by two different quilters - both is excellent condition), a Drunkards Path with sawtooth border in off-white and double purple that made me stop breathing for a minute, two gorgeous indigo's (and since we are only 100 miles from the larges indigo plantation in the US during the 1800's it is always exciting to see indigo!) The quilts ranged from the 1840's to 1950...I may be spoiled. I wonder if I'll see such a great collection again.
It also helped that the meeting was in the Aiken Museum which is in an old antebellum style building. The room was beautiful and the people working at the museum very helpful.
After the talk which ended up going until noon (but no-one left and they asked me to keep talking!) we had lunch at Melia's...nothing like homemade raspberry pie after a morning of quilts....