Small Town Treasure

Lynn Schoeffler © 2006

   
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Escondido is rather a small town by Southern California standards, but my friend Kris and I found real treasure at the Escondido History Center's 50th Anniversary Quilt Show. The Center is located in a group of relocated early Escondido buildings that the Center maintains, including a fully furnished Victorian country home, the Santa Fe Depot, and the city's first library.

We had been to the show the previous week, and knew the collection was worth a second visit. Imagine our delight when docent Gwen Poole allowed us to step beyond the display ropes to take close-up photos of the crazy quilts displayed at the beautifully furnished Victorian home.

The crazy quilt displayed in photo three on a stand against the window was highly detailed with wonderful motifs and stitched borders. Although the maker is unknown, the quilt has been tentatively dated by an appraiser as circa 1880. It is done in four large blocks with velvet and silk fabric, with embroidery in perle cotton and chenille. The chenille stitching was in such good condition, it looks as if it had been embroidered yesterday.

 
 

As we continued upstairs, we were joined by Anne-Marie Tuck, who told us that the History Center owns many of the displayed quilts, with a few on loan from members. In the historically decorated master bedroom, we found a little CQ dresser scarf, pillow, and a truly wonderful old crazy quilt, also circa 1880, donated by Mrs. Dorothy Hazeltine. The quilt is composed of a huge number of patches in cotton, velvet and silk, with embroidered motifs, mementos such as the Grant Park Library bookmark, and an amazing variety of border stitches. Click on photos for larger views.

Daisies are done with individual petals of felt, with embroidered stems and leaves in chenille. 
The golden leaves are chenille; as are the blush pink flowers with silk embroidered leaves. 

 

Library Society bookmark.
The Dahlia is finely embroidered with long and short stitches and French knots. I could not tell if the butterfly was hand inked on the fabric, or whether it is a manufactured piece. 
Sadly, one of the few really shattered pieces of silk was this bookmark. The picture is still in good condition, however, and you can read the words “The Lord Is My Shepherd”. 
Initials done in tiny stem stitches, perhaps in silk perle or buttonhole twist. 
Bonnet-wearing owl, fan and spider web motifs. 
Wide variety of fabrics and stitches. 
Hand-painted magnolia on navy silk. 
Delicate embroidered floral. 

We also saw a few loose blocks displayed, and when we asked Anne-Marie about them, she told us that the History Center owned “an entire box” of them, and that we could view and photograph them. Look for the next installment of photos from the Escondido History Center in CQMagOnline October issue; they are well worth the wait!

Particular thanks go to docents Anne-Marie and Gwen, who patiently waited as we photographed and exclaimed over the quilts. Thanks also to Wendy Barker, Director of the History Center.

The Center is located in Grape Day Park, Escondido, and provides group and school tours, slide presentations for classes and organizations, also assistance with research materials, including the 7,000 + photo collection.

View the Center website at: www.escondidohistory.org

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