Saturday, October 13, 2012

Certified quilt appraiser, historian visits Cotton Treasures



One of Connie Brown's circle quilts
I think I've been watching too many TV shows like "American Pickers" and "Antiques Roadshow."  When I found out that a certified quilt appraiser was coming to Cotton Treasures, I snatched one of my treasures off the wall and unloaded another from a trunk and headed down to see exactly what I had. 
Cotton Treasures in Senatobia hosted a Meet and Greet with American Quilter’s Society Certified Appraiser of Quilted Textiles and professional quilt artist Connie Brown of Asheville, N.C., on Oct. 11.
“Connie showed quilts in her own collection ranging from antique quilts to a few of her recently-made quilts,” said Chantay Rhone, Cotton Treasures owner.
Guests brought antique or vintage quilts to have evaluated. Brown looked at each quilt brought by the guests and answered questions and discussed fabric selection, block name and repair if needed.

Connie inspects my orange Aster quilt.

She looked at mine, one a Grandmother's fan pattern that was a family friendship quilt dated 1939.  It is losing the signatures. Connie told me that if I didn't want to sell or auction it and keep it in the family, I could restore the signatures. What's the quilt worth to me without the signatures?  It is still beautiful, but I want to hand it down bearing the names of those women (including my grandmother, great aunt and cousin who made the quilt) in this small community of Barr.
The other quilt was purchased at an estate sale. I knew nothing about it except that I liked it. The background is orange with what I thought was a Dresden Plate pattern hand appliqu├ęd to the background. She told me it was also from the 1930s and that the pattern was actually Aster.  When I told her what I paid for it, she said I "did good."  I knew I did because I love it. 

Connie shows off one of her art quilts.

Brown, originally from Memphis, lived in Whitehaven and graduated from SBEC (Southern Baptist Educational Center) in 1979.
“My family has always had a place on Sardis Lake, near the Holiday Lodge. I even waited tables there during my high school years,” said Connie.  She attended the University of Mississippi for two years, and her parents—Sam and Pat Griggs—retired to Harmontown in 1985.  Following the death of her father, Brown’s mother remarried, and she and her husband Paul Sherwood live in the same spot on Harmontown Road.
Connie and her husband Ted Brown of Germantown and son Dusty moved to Asheville in 1989.
“In 1990 I took my first quilt class and was hooked,” she said. “I’ve been making quilts ever since.”
Connie became an AQS Certified Appraiser of Quilted Textiles in 2009. Her quilt, Color Cascade can be found in the September 2012 issue of American Quilter magazine.
She is a juried member of Southern Highlands Craft Guild and her quilts have been offered for sale and for viewing at the Folk Art Center in Asheville, N.C.
“If I am known for anything, it is for my circle quilts. I have made variations of the same pattern in many different colors.” She has also done art quilts and other patterns.
Since Brown has family in this area, she returns frequently to Mississippi.

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