Canadian Quilt History

A sample of Canadian quilt history was shown at the quilt exhibition 'Kaleidoscope' by Max Allen at the Textile Museum of Canada in January 2010. Max put together this quilt exhibition of antique quilts that were collected by Carole and Howard Tanenbaum. They are art collectors, and they acquired these quilts because of how they look as art.

This exhibition has been documented and can be viewed at the 'Textile Museum of Canada'. Following is a brief description of the event.

"The first quilt we saw that we couldn't live without was a crazy quilt at an antique dealers store in Stratford," says Carole Tanenbaum. "I love texture and I also love randomness and I was immediately attracted to it."

"We never deliberately set out to have a quilt collection, but one year we bought one and then the next year we saw three we loved, and pretty soon there we were with a quilt collection."

The quilts displayed showed some quilts that were made by individuals as well as quilts made by a group of women. These group quilts were often a social event as well as an outlet for personal artistic expression. Quilts were made primarily for two reasons. The first was for practical purposes of keeping warm in bed and the second reason was for artistic expression. Where women could make something beautiful as well as practical for the home.

There was a quilt displayed that was made up out of 5,955 silk hexagons all sewn together. Max likens it to a jigsaw puzzle but having every piece the exact same size and shape. Within this quilt is a hexagon with the picture of Queen Victoria on it. It was copied from a portrait now in the Twickenham Museum in England when she was 23 years of age.

Another quilt was made out of left over textile fabrics that had been made into womens and mens clothing. It shows randomness within a regular block pattern. This quilt was assembled using the tied method.

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