Whimsical and Homespun Art Creations with a Little Rural Living Thrown In

Monday, August 29, 2011

Baraboo Women's Center Underground Railroad Quilt & Seminar ~ Badger Gas & Steam Engine Show

There were so many things to do at Baraboo, but one of the highlight's for me was visiting the Women's Center.  They had guest speakers for those of us that wanted to learn a little Wisconsin women's history, wool spinners, candle makers, quilters, and a vintage apron show.  Plus, there were quilts and antiques on display.  I could have spent much more time there.  It truly is a remarkable event that is arranged for the spectators.  Oh... and they also have a quilt raffle that visitors can participate in! :)

Below is a picture of the front of the Women's Center.  Isn't it wonderful?  The vintage John Deere tractor was owned by the family of the guest speaker  and her sister who made the "Underground Railroad" Quilt.  They are very proud to show its newly restored condition.  It was beautiful!

I did not get the full name of the speaker.  If memory serves me correct, her first name was Jan.  My arrival to the Center brought me in half way through her lecture.  She was discussing the Civil War and the Underground Railroad as it pertained to the women of Wisconsin.  She also discussed the idea of quilts being used to direct the slaves in their travels.  It is not her belief that they had secret codes in the quilts, but she did believe that quilts hanging outside could have tipped slaves off to safe houses and that their stories were told in the block patterns.  Very interesting lecture!

Here is the quilt that the guest speaker's sister made for the event.  Isn't it wonderful?  *sigh*  I had the pleasure of discussing the quilt with her.  They purchased some fabric prints inspired by the Civil War Era.  I am not sure whose fabric line they used, but Barbara Brackman has a line inspired from that era that I have been dreaming about. The pattern came from Eleanor Burns' "Underground Railroad / Quilt in a day" book.  Yep, I am ordering a copy! ;)  The last block is the meaning behind each block pattern in the quilt.  They printed it off from the book onto fabric and incorporated it into the design.

There was a mini quilt and another larger one that were  inspired by the Underground Railroad patterns.

Here is a list of the names of blocks that are linked to the Underground Railroad.

I will wrap this post up with one of many splendid quilts that were on display!   It is entitled "Chickens".   The pattern and quilting created by Karren Watson of the Wisconsin Dells.  Love the colors and the cool hens!  You know me and my chickens. ;)  There were some beautiful works of fabric art to view, and it was a pleasurable way to spend part of the afternoon.   Special thanks to all the wonderful women who made this part of the event possible.  *applause*  :0) 


beforethedawn said...

Gorgeous quilts!! I hope someday to make something even remotely as beautiful as some of the awesome quilts I see others make. :-D

Blessings, Jessica

Brenda said...

I agree Jessica! There are some amazing fabric artists. I feel so lucky that many of them share their talents and skills on the Internet. :)