Antique quilts on view in Savage


November 15, 1992|By Sherry Joe | Sherry Joe,Staff Writer

Wendy White didn't expect to discover antique quilts when she and her husband, Paul DeLloyd, toured historic Savage Mill yesterday.

"We came just for Savage Mill," said Ms. White of Arlington, Va. "I do like quilts, so this is a bonus. They're beautiful."

Dealers from seven states are exhibiting quilts, linens and laces during the fourth annual Antique Textile Show and Sale, which ends today at 5:30 p.m.

Debbie Schaefer of Timonium said she attended the show because she wants to add to her collection of 10 antique quilts.

"I like the fact that they're old," she said, fingering a blue-and-white handmade quilt.

Candy and Marion Antonio of Baltimore, who have collected quilts from Texas and Oklahoma, said they admire the intricate design, stitching and quality of antique quilts.

"They're art," said Mr. Antonio. "They're getting harder and harder to find."

The show features more than 100 quilts, coverlets and bed linens, costing from $45 to $750.

Many feature geometric and flower designs in colors ranging from rich, dark earth tones to pastel hues. Some are made from shirting fabrics.

Ms. Antonio said she can determine the age of a quilt from its color and fabric. Pastel colors were popular during the 1920s and 1930s, she said. Various shades of brown were used in the 1870s, and a certain bright pink was used from the 1850s to 1860s, she said.

"After a while, your eye is able to pick them out. You put all the clues together," said Ms. Antonio, who also enjoys guessing the history behind quilts.

One Depression-era "signature" quilt contains the names of the women who helped sew it. Krista Messersmith, assistant manager of Antique Center III in the mill, speculated that a church group sewed the quilt to raise money or cheer up an ill friend.

Besides antique quilts, the show features vintage clothing, samplers, needlepoint and items from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Antique dealer Kathy Wilson is offering damask towels and napkins, quilt trimmings, lace curtains, dresser scarves, table linens, tea cloths and place mats.

"You just can't get the type of quality today," Ms. Wilson said. "The back cloths are so durable, they last so long and feel so nice."

Antique dealer Julie Talbot said many women stopped making elaborate quilts, linens and laces when they began working during World War II.

Before the 1940s, many women spent hours crafting intricate stitching patterns, such as "drawn work," in which threads from a body of cloth are pulled and re-woven with separate threads.

The show runs today from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the New Weave Building at 8600 Foundry St. in Savage. For more information, call 792-2820.

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