Ann Hazelwood, owner of the award-winning quilt shop
Patches, Etc., in St. Charles, MO., had a brainstorm seven years ago. She has
always been a student and lover of vintage textiles. Her large resource library
has hundreds of quilt books, articles, and pieces of fabric, which she shared
with interested students. She proposed an "Antique Quilt Study Group". Little did
she know the overwhelming response from the St. Louis Metro Area.
Thirty members have faithfully met at Patches on the second
Tuesday evening of each month. A member of the group is assigned a quilt-related
topic. The subjects presented have ranged from "Civil War Quilts" to "Vintage
Thirties Fabrics". Those who attend feel that they have received the equivalent
of a college course in textiles.
One of the most popular presentations was on "1930's Kitchen
Quilts". The members were treated to hot apple pie. The apples were peeled with
an old table-top model peeler. The hostess wore an old housedress and matching
apron and "Enna Jettick" laced-up black shoes. Old Sears catalogs and household
fabric items caused laughter and nostalgia. Everyone recalled their mothers and
grandmothers using fabric toaster covers and dresser scarves, the fact that fabric
used to be available through catalogs, and the popular styles from the past.
Whatever the subject, while studying, the members are
intrigued by looking at the way our ancestors put colors together, past trends in
fabric, and the way machine work has replaced hand stitching.
If you have an interest in starting an "Antique Quilt
Study Group", get your friends together. Patches' club has no dues, usually no
refreshments, and few rules. You will find that a study of old quilts and old
methods will enhance your current projects. If you're a collector of quilts,
study will improve your "eye" for the treasure at antique malls. And, a peek
into our past is just plain fun.