Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Black and Blue

Editor's Note: To celebrate the upcoming grand opening of the newly expanded Quilt House gallery, International Quilt Study Center & Museum team members are blogging about pieces in the gallery's inaugural exhibition, "Getting to Know You."

Checkerboard, maker unknown, made in United States,
circa 1800-1820. IQSCM 1997.007.0376

By Carolyn Ducey
Curator of Collections

This quilt calls to my heart. There is something so dramatic about the blue and black squares on point that I love. Rich, dark, pulsing… But then, you notice the candy cane outer border. The turquoise blue is just the right shade lighter than the center blue, so it adds a flash of color. The pale pink, in parallelograms that point upward, literally pushes your eye back to the quilt – a remarkably effective design element. Then, when you think you’ve seen it all, look – the maker brought the three border colors used together in the bottom center. Aaaaah, it just literally makes my eyes happy.

And, if you are lucky enough to have worked with this quilt, you know that is it composed of wool, some loosely woven but fused to create a luscious shine. The light plays with the designs the quilter used to join the layers… carefully crafted floral patterns.

I want to hug this quilt  – even though it is a bit stiff and scratchy. I want to wrap myself in this particular woman’s vision and just feel her creative  spirit for a moment. Wow.

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