Sunset - June 2, 2020

Sunset - June 2, 2020

Monday, July 13, 2015

Dressing Downton...


Our quilt history study group, aka Liberty Ladies, had the opportunity to tour the elegant Paine Art Center in Oshkosh last Thursday.

The craftsmanship that went into this Tudor Revival mansion is breathtaking, an overused word so often, but truly applicable to this structure. The woodwork alone with linenfold doors & carved stair railings done in oak leaves and acorns was fabulous - add in the beautifully appointed rooms with marble fireplace surrounds and a morning breakfast room to dream in - oh my! ....the icing on the cake though was the special exhibit of 36 vintage garments from the PBS series, Downton Abbey - of which I, like many of you, am a devoted fan.


No photos allowed, of course, but take my word for it, seeing these costumes up close was a total treat...heavily beaded, braided, tucked, and flowing - all examples of how clothing was designed and sewn at the turn of the century - by hand and with great attention to detail. From the quietly understated soft purple gown the Dowager Countess wore while mourning to the starched white apron that Anna wears as maid to Lady Mary - just an amazing exhibit and staged in a perfect venue.

The gardens were lovely and this fascinating structure is called a kaleidoscope garden..

By looking through one of the 3 viewing scopes ....

And turning the cylinder, you can create endless design compositions (I used to love the similar toys as a child)...I placed my iPhone up to the viewing lense...

Even hexies!

Our day out would not be complete without a quilt shop stop...just up the road from Oshkosh is Menasha - home to Lisa Bongean's Primitive Gatherings .

We had called ahead as 9 quilters showing up at once might require extra cutting hands. The staff had prepared extra goodies for us - they called us the Downton Abbey Ladies!


I ordered a copy of Irene Blanck's Focus on Applique, which they were out of, and a few pieces of fabric - could not find what I was looking for - imagine that!

A full day with friends - beautiful weather, good food - doesn't get any better for a quilter!

Wishing each of you a very lovely week.














  1. I've never watched Downton Abbey, but I would still love to see the clothing made of the time period.
    And then a stop at Primitive Gatherings. Sounds like a delightful day.
    BTW, my copy of Textile Designs arrived today and I have enjoyed pouring through it!

  2. What a lovely adventure you were on. Sounds like something I would like to do. Glad you had such a good time. You deserved it.

  3. what a fun fun day out. I love to visit museums and gardens. That viewer is the neatest thing.
    Glad to hear you had such a fun day out with friends.

  4. What a great day! I love touring homes. The gardens look spectacular. I noticed your coral charm peony, love them too! With the added fabric shopping, looks like the perfect day!

  5. What fun that must have been! I would love to visit Primitive Gatherings some day ... but it's just too far to go to Wisconsin just for their shop. Maybe I can discover a few more in that neck of the woods as well as on our way and I can justify the road trip. ha!

  6. Wow! What a perfect day. It would be so much fun to see some of the clothing from Downton and then to head off to Primitive Gatherings. Your group probably couldn't stop talking all the way home.

  7. Your whole day sounds just wonderful! I would love to see those costumes close up! I have been considering getting Irene's book, but have not ordered it yet.


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