These quilts were part of the Fabric of a New Nation, 1776-1840 exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago.
As I said in my previous post about the Samplers, the textile exhibit was small. Despite being small the quilts on display were excellent. Perhaps not excellent in the that they were the best of the best, but excellent in that they were interesting. There were interesting choices of fabric, interesting corner treatments and interesting block variations. We all seem to go for perfect, especially when we run out of fabric and, yet, I find that antique quilts with an odd patch of fabric are more interesting. I often think “why would she choose that particular fabric?” and that thought leads me into a whole day dream about the woman that made the quilt.
The Star of Bethlehem was a stellar example of a quilt. The museum called it a bedcover. I wonder why? I’ll have to ask a curator friend and see if she knows.
The colors are a really good combination. The red, green and yellow are a combination I used to use a lot when I drew and colored with felt pens. The viewer is rewarded with the fabrics when viewing close-up. They are interesting and add a lot of movement to the quilt
The borders are another excellent part of this. In reality, the whole quilt is about the borders. It is kind of a border round robin idea.
The detail of this quilt is great. The photo (left) is a detail of the center. I love it that this quiltmaker sewed so many inset seams, not only in the center, but in the whole quilt. I would love to know the maker (or makers).
The other thing is that the points are really well done. I know that points matching is not the be-all-end-all, but when the points matching is well done, it is a joy to behold.
Again, in this detail, you can see the nice combination of the red, yellow and green. I think the tones of the colors are interesting. Not greyed, not bright. Not sure what I am seeing, but it is interesting.
One thing I like to do is pay attention to the corners of borders. It is sometimes hard to know now to make a corner meet, especially if your piecing is a bit off. In this example the corner is a bit off where the two parts of the border meet, but the quiltmaker really did a nice job making that flower shape. I really like it. I also like that it is a bit off. It gives the quilt humanity, soul.
Keep in mind that I had to take photos of these quilts with no flash. Thus, the colors in the photo of the corner look more yellow than they were.
I have never heard of this pattern with the name Pincushion and Burrs. It is also, according to the information card, called Square and Swallows, which sounds familiar, but not very much. I am pretty good with blocks, but I haven’t paid a lot of attention to quilt designs that have an all over name. Something to put on my bucket list, I guess.
I really like the border on this quilt, but the overall quilt is a great blue and white quilt. The little bird feet add movement and interest to this piece. I am not a huge fan of two color quilts; I don’t hate them, but I just think there is so much good fabric, why stick with just two? However, when I see a quilt like this, I think about making a two color quilt.
In addition to showing you the birds’ feet in this photo, you can also see the quilting. The quilting includes bunches of grapes, which are difficult in the best of circumstances. These are well done. The thing I like about this quilting is the double row of stitching that border the plain blocks. You may have to enlarge the photo to see them.
I also like the slight curves in the center of pieced blocks (applique’). I think this could be made, partially, like a Drunkard’s Path is made.
Again, here is a border corner. this is an interesting treatment-Flying Geese border and then a kind of Double Four Patch with Half Square Triangles. I like. It works, even if it isn’t perfect. It does look a bit like a butterfly.
Small, but nice exhibit in general. I enjoyed it.