Quilts depict flights of fancy at New England Air Museum

By Brenda Sullivan - ReminderNews
Windsor Locks - posted Thu., Sep. 19, 2013
More than 150 quilts from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island were on exhibit at the New England Air Museum. Photos by Brenda Sullivan.
More than 150 quilts from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island were on exhibit at the New England Air Museum. Photos by Brenda Sullivan.

It’s an unusual combination – brightly-colored quilts displayed side-by-side with giant aircraft, gun turrets and flight simulators – but it made a visit to the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks one with plenty to explore.

The second annual quilt show, entitled “Flights and Fantasies,” was held from Sept. 16 to 22, and included quilting-related talks by Marie Bostwick – a “New York Times” best-selling author of the Cobbled Court Quilt series of novels, and Jackie Kunkel, who quilting enthusiasts will recognize as a Nationally Certified Judy Niemeyer Instructor and quilt designer. Kunkel, of Canton Village Works, was also the show’s organizer.

The show included a drawing for two quilts: one to benefit the American Cancer Society and another to benefit New England Air Museum programs.

Another drawing was for themed baskets, including one for book-lovers, one for gardeners, one for UConn basketball fans, a “fat quarter” basket for quilters, and several others.

The exhibit’s program included the story behind each quilt and the techniques involved in its creation. Most were made in Connecticut, and a few were contributed by quilters in surrounding states.

Monday, Sept. 16, was opening day for the show, and it drew quilting enthusiasts from around the area, including a bus trip from the Coventry Senior Center and a group of Red Hat Ladies, said volunteer Karen Kebinger, who also has two quilts in the show.

One of her quilts, entitled “Stitched with Love” (quilt M095), is based on a children’s book “Hearts a Plenty.” Kebinger noted she took liberties with the design and placed shapes where they pleased her most and added the appliquéd words, “Stitched with the Thread of Love, Comforter for the Soul.”

Her other quilt, “Moulin Rouge” (M097), is her interpretation of that movie. With an almost rug-like texture, it incorporates images from the film including four blades of a windmill covered with piano keys, and in each division, an image to accompany the words Freedom, Beauty, Truth and Love – all framed by nubby embellished fabric that mimics two stage curtains drawn back with silk cords.

Some of the quilts in the show depicted Connecticut locations, such as “Times Gone By” (M020) created by Donald Gough, of a 250-year-old church in East Haddam, and “Yantic Falls – Indian Leap in Winter” (M060), a scenic spot in Norwich recreated by Roberta Morehouse.

Some quilts were group projects, such as “Women Against the Grain,” in which 13 quilters were challenged to incorporate images having to do with chemistry, royalty, Elizabeth Park and “something punny.”

There also were three “bonus” exhibits. One section featured “Dear Jane” quilts, named for the famous Civil War-era quilt maker Jane A. (Blakely) Stickle of Vermont. These quilts contained thousands of pieces arranged in intricate blocks.

“Dear Jane” (DJ4), by Susan Jones, included several Civil War reproduction fabrics and, according to the guide, “at least one piece of genuine Civil War era fabric.” It was hand-pieced, appliquéd and quilted.

Something new this year was an invitation to submit small quilts – no larger than 144 inches total area – and viewers were asked to vote for a People’s Choice from this grouping.

And in a room called the B-29 Hangar is a collection of quilts with a garden theme, curated by Sue Reich, with works dating from the mid-1800s to the 1940s.

More information about the quilt show is available at http://www.neam.org or by calling 860-623-3305.

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