Sunday, February 28, 2016

Visit to History, complete with Victorian house, dolls and quilts

Today a group of us, on a lovely early spring day, went north to visit with Lyna W., one of our embroidery guild members, in her Victorian house, completely furnished in period, colors, furniture from her family.  She is a major antique quilt collector and authority and a lifelong doll collector, equally knowledgeable in that world, too.  

This isn't her day job! she's a respected university professor in the daytime, quilt and doll authority and needlewoman the rest of the time.  And an equestrian, horse owner and rider, jumper until recently.

But I can only show you glimpses of one of the richest fullest lives you will ever see.

Here's her house, welcoming us in.  

And a couple of views of interiors.  Note her hand stitched quilt on the brass bed

Miniature makers who have played with Victorian miniatures will feel as if they're in a full size dollhouse!  authentic colors, furniture, atmosphere, just lovely.

And a room filled with her lifetime doll collection, which includes dolls from her family, including one who rode in a covered wagon in the American West, and dolls of France, Germany, the US, and all amazing, in showcases so you can see everything.  

Fully jointed Canadian modern doll resting under her quilt

Many of the finest clothes were made by Lyna's mother for her dolls, and Lyna herself stitched a lot of clothing for dolls.  Readers who are interested in dolls will recognize a lot of classics and some rareties in these pictures.

Lyna comes from a family of great needlewomen, and has a tapestry her mother made hanging in her workroom

Her collection of antique quilts came out of storage to show us.  These ranged in age from the 1820s to the early 20th century, from various parts of the country, many from Pennsylvania, some from the south. No lack of helpers to hold up and display the quilt tops and quilts.

See this backing? this is a centennial cheat fabric, printed to look like patchwork! prized item

In the foreground a Temperance Quilt! see the T?

Amazing opportunity to see and handle quilts of museum quality, some of which have been pictured in books and magazines. Quilting readers will recognize some of the traditional designs, but the early ones also had a lot of detail and great improvisational features as well as design expertise. And since they're in good hands, the condition and colors are as good as possible. Many early dyes were fugitive or ate through the fabrics, so some of the quilt tops need knowledgeable handling.

A good day was had by all, as they used to say in the parish newsletters!  Astute guild members will notice that this isn't the usual Guild blog coming your way -- it's a special post on my Field and Fen blog, but I wanted to include you in the mailing.


  1. Wow! Those quilts are so gorgeous. Thank you so much for taking us along with you on this wonderful journey.

  2. Can't get over all those dolls - amazing collection. And I love that frog greeter at the door!

  3. What a fabulous day - original Victorian house, beautiful dolls and beautiful quilts. What more could you ask for?


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