Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Favorite Red & White Quilts

As promised, here are some pictures of my favorite quilts from the "Infinite Variety Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts" exhibit recently on display in NYC. This quilt was the poster child of the event. The design was featured on the signage, brochure, and on a tote bag available for purchase. The intricate design creates a fantastic optical illusion. I'm not sure how you would piece a quilt like this together. It was absolutely stunning. Plus the applique pieces in the corners add to the whimsy of the overall design. The star design was another fabulous piece. Lining up all of those points so perfectly had to be very tedious. With many of the quilts I looked at the design until I could figure out the basic block, but with this quilt and the quilt above I have no clue how you would put them together. Maybe someday when I have more time and better sewing and cutting skills I can tackle this kind of design.

This next quilt looks deceptively simple. The actual quilting (the stitched used to connect the layers of the quilt) is very intricate. The multiple stitch designs are easy to see on the plain white background.

A closer look at the red design on the quilt shows it is a combination of reverse applique and and embroidery. It must have been such a long process to cut and stitch around all of the applique. What a great display of craftsmanship.

The airplane quilt was adorable. The design is fun and whimsical and I could see this in any little boys bedroom. (I could also see a store like Pottery Barn selling a recreation of this piece.)

Not surprisingly this was a quilt made around war time to show support for our troops.

This quilt is another kind of optical illusion, but this is one I could make. It's all long strips, little blocks, and right angles. I like the striking look of the completed quilt - very bold and modern.

The quilt below features applique work that is beautiful, but I was more impressed by its condition. The quilt was made in 1858 and isn't faded or falling apart. What a testament to the women that put this piece together.

And finally one last little tidbit I learned. Often quilts were used to raise funds. A quilting group would put together a quilt and people would pay to have their name put on the quilt and then the quilt would be sold or raffled.

The close up below shows one such piece - there are names added along the edges. Seeing the names in the quilt makes me want to know where it was made, who paid to have their names added to the quilt, and how much money did it raise. It was really fascinating.

Quilts require time and effort to make. And for many of the quilts on display everything was done by hand. There were quilts that just gave me goosebumps because I could feel the history and sense the heart and soul that went in to making them.