Saturday, August 21, 2010

Let's spend the day in Milwaukee...

Spent the day in Milwaukee - and wait till you see/hear what I got to see. You have to read through this first part to get to the highlight...... First we stopped for lunch at Mader's German restaurant. This restaurant has had so many famous people eat at it (including several presidents) and has been in business for over 100 years. Course I forgot to take a picture of it from the outside. Across the street though was the Milwaukee icon Usinger's. So I did get pictures of that while waiting outside for them to open! Check out the cute little Usinger's elves (you probably need to click on the photo's to enlarge so you can see them)!

Then we headed a few blocks east and hit the lakefront! It was a gorgeous day out! They even had a few tall ships parked nearby! We were going to walk over and get some better pictures after the "BIG" reason we headed up there - but well, it was drizzling when we came out, so all I have is this picture of one from down the path.

Our main destination? Milwaukee's Art Museum. Look at that building! And right on the lake!

Inside in the main area there was this awesome blown glass sculpture. And a picture I took looking up at the ceiling.

Now why you probably are asking is this posted on my quilt blog? Well because we went to see the traveling Winterthur Collection. And OH MY - was it amazing! We couldn't take pictures so I'll have to share with a few pics from the book - but it just isn't going to do it justice. Not at all.

Just look at some of the quilts we got to see up close and personal! The exhibit was amazing!

When you walk in and see the above quilt hanging it takes your breath away. They way they had it displayed, the size of it, the workmanship. There is no way the picture in the book can even begin to capture the beauty of the fabrics. This one is from the early 1800's.

This quilt was propped behind glass on a slanted wall since it is probably very fragile. And darn - all the quilts were dated next to them, but of course without my own pictures I can't remember the age - but this one is old. I want to say from the 1700's. You would not believe the quilting in all of these.

The embroidery in this one was awesome! The dark brown is wool from a pair of britches.

This was one of my favorites - just because it is one I could see myself making. But let me tell you... you should see the quilting. (Mary Keller Quilt 1851). Each stitch is uniform in length - but the length of the stitches, about the length of a pin point. I"m not kidding. All these quilts, the quilting was so tiny and even it was totally unbelievable. Oh I so wanted a picture close up of those stitches.

This fabrics in this one from 1854 were so fun to look at. Most of them were actually very vivid yet and in good condition. The worst deterioration was to the bottom right basket block. Once again, the quilting on this was so amazing. Think of the teeniest best hand quilting you have ever seen. Then let me tell you, that would look like junk next to the stitches on these.

This one from the early 1800's had the most amazing fabrics. Especially look at the kite shape blue fabric around the center medallion part. What I loved was the odd "hut" shaped pieces on the inside and outside of the outer border. OK - so I have no idea what to call that shape, there probably is a real name, but it was so cool!

There were of course tons of wholecloths with amazing quilting, and some unbelievable silk embroidery whole cloths. But any picture I could take of them from the book - "Quilts in a material world" would never show up. So I suggest getting the book. Besides, the history and stories about the women and these quilts are so fun to read!

Better yet - find where this exhibit will be near you and go. Even the book cannot show the amazing quilt stitches in these books. I know I"m gushing - but I am so in awe of those stitches!

12 comments from wonderful readers:

Linda C said...

Glad you were able to see this exhibition. l saw these quilts when traveling the states 3 years ago, in Winterthur, their home. They are as stunning as you say, and the photos don't do them justice, compared to being able to stand in front of them. At that time, we were able to take photos, so have many to remind me of an awesome experiance.

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Amazing! How long is the exhibit in Milwaukee?

Karen said...

My brother used to live in Milwaukee and I visited there many, many years ago. The onli thing I saw was a brewery. Your visit was much more interesting.

Lori said...

That is so fantastic you were able to go! The quilts are beautiful and I can imagine how much more spectacular they are in person.

Karen said...

all I can do right now is sit and drool and quote Rachel Zoe:
"I DIE!"

So glad you had the chance to go see quilting genius. Beautiful, beautiful photos- even if you had to resort to the book!
Thanks for sharing.

ROZ said...

What a great post! Wonderful exhibit

Barb said...

I've never been to their art museum, but go.
Loved all your photos. Amazing quilts!

Heidi said...

What a privilege to be able to see these beautiful quilts! That restaurant is amazing too.

Hugs from Holland ~

Darcie said...

Wow! Lucky you! Looks like a fantastic place to visit.

Carole said...

What a fascinating visit! thanks for sharing! Cheers

Lynn said...

Trying to talk hubby into taking me on Sunday as this exhibit ends on Labor Day I see.... I bought the book; thanks for the link! Lynn

Lynn said...

Trying to talk Randy into going with me on Sunday as the exhibit closes on Monday! You are a bad influence... I bought the book from Amazon.... Lynn