The temperature was 40 degrees outside when I woke up this morning. Lots of leaves and branches were down in the yard after a day and night of rain and high winds. When I heard the forecast on Sunday, I pulled some cold weather bedding out of the closet so we were warm and toasty despite the falling temps. It's suddenly the season of quilts — in the bedroom and the art gallery.
Locally you can enjoy a vibrant exhibit of traditional and contemporary art quilts at the annual Olbrich Botanical Gardens Quilts in Bloom event now through October 11th. The quilts are displayed with grasses and fall plants keyed to the color and design of the textiles. There's a quilt raffle and even the outdoor Herb Garden is enlivened with a "quilted" courtyard planting. The quilt show is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and a $2 donation is suggested.
The star of this show must surely be Nora Bebee's quilted "Kokoro Kimono." An actual kimono is the foundation of the piece which has been enlarged and embellished with hand-beading and batik patterned leaves and images of Whitnall Park near Milwaukee (above and below).
"Kokoro is a Japanese word that means heart, soul, spirit and mind," Bebee told the PR folks at Olbrich who noted the detail in an email to me. Bebee said she thought that was an especially appropriate title for her quilt, since "all those parts of me were used in creating the kimono."antique Indian saris (below). These come in different sizes, colors and patterns and are all handmade using antique textiles.
Another attractive offering from Sundance is this Suchitra quilt (below). It comes in Queen and King sizes and is made of hand-printed cotton bordered in a matching floral and backed in brown cotton. Kantha stitching binds the layers together without batting.
The top three photos are courtesy Olbrich Botanical Gardens and the bottom two are from the Sundance catalog web site.