Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Years ago while researching quilting patterns (the stitched designs) I was lucky enough to be working in the David Pottinger collection of Amish quilts. Dave had a beautiful pole barn-type building with built-in shelving for his quilts. The shelves could then be covered by roll-down "blinds" of heavy blue denim to protect the quilts from dust and light. On the second day, Dave came into the building and watched me work as I transferred designs from an old quilt to sheets of flexible Mylar. He watched as the black marker traced onto the Mylar the hidden designs. He was amazed. "Those designs are on my quilts?" he asked in astonishment. Then I knew that he had collected those wonderful quilts exclusively for their colors and graphic effect. He hadn't seen or understood the function or the subtle beauty of the stitches. His own comprehension aside, Dave Pottinger did a great job of recording and collecting Amish quilts from a particular area in Indiana. If you'd like to see the Pottinger quilt collection online, much of his collection is viewable here http://museumcollections.in.gov/info.php?page=0&v=1&s=amish+quilt&type=all&t=objects&f=&d= at the Indiana State Museum.
Don't you wish you could go back and ask these folks questions?