I was invited to give a lecture on contemporary quilts to the Decorative and Fine Arts Society here in New Jersey, which I did this afternoon. The program chair is an admirer of Eleanor McCain's work and has fallen in love with art quilts in general. She decided that the group to which she belongs needed an education about what is being done today in the art quilt world. I brought along, in addition to the slides, a few of my own pieces. This one,"Bad Hair Day," garnered the most enthusiasm. Interesting.
Before I started talking about art quilts, I showed the audience a few of my own antique pieces.I'll share them with you, too - and you really need to click and enlarge them. This Tumbling Blocks top is so vividly graphic that it knocks me over every time I look at it.
I adore this wonderfully quirky pattern and Marty fell in love with it,too, years ago at the Piers in NY, so we bought. I hve been told by someone who should know, that this is very likely an African American piece because of the pieced strips between the rows of blocks. If anybody out there can verify this, I'd be interested in knowing more. I love this top! It was never finished and seems to have been cut off at the bottom.
I bought this one in Denver more than a decade ago. Chimney Sweep? It's an album quilt and some of the blocks have been signed in pencil but none has ever been embroidered. 1860's-1880's, I think.
Finally, two quilts I actually use. I rescued both of these from oblivion when they were dirty old tops. I washed, added batting/backing/binding and HAND QUILTED both of them. The first one is 1910-20; I think I replaced one of the stars that was rotting.It lives in the downstairs guest bedroom.
The next one lives with me: I cuddle under it when I am tired or cold; it is made of feedsacks from the '30's and was so filthy when I found it, tied with an old sheet and red & white striped bakery string, that I didn't think it would every be healthy again. For that reason, it is dear to my heart.
The audience was gracious and enthusiastic and asked lots of questions. Hooray for education! By the time I was done with my slide lecture (thanks to those of you who sent me jpgs or slides) these folks wanted to know when the next juried art quilt exhibit in this area would be so they could take a trip! I'll keep them posted on the next Sedgwick (or whatever it is now called) in Philadelphia, which is a 2 hour drive from here. We've gained a whole new audience - isn't that nice?