Monday, April 11, 2011

"Year of the Quilt" at the American Folk Art Museum (Installment 3)

These pictures are of quilts from Part I of the Quilts--Masterworks from the American Folk Art Museum in New York City. The exhibit is available until April 24, 2011. I hope you enjoy this quick look at some of the quilts in the exhibit. (Remember, you can click the picture to get a better look.)

Log Cabin quilt designs are among the most popular and easily recognized of all quilt patterns. Beginning with a center shape, usually a square, the traditional design is made by sewing strips in sequence around the sides of the square, varying the values between light and dark. (Information from Jane Hall at
This "log cabin quilt" is made of silk and satin material. It was made between 1890 and 1900. This is considered a "show" quilt intended for decorative use only and was removed from the bed before sleeping.
"Barn Raising" was made by Sarah Olmstead King between 1875-1885. It is made of silk, velvet, satin, and ribbon. I really liked the striped brown fabric used in the border.
This is an example of a "pineapple" block. It may also be called a "windmill" block because of the placement of color. This quilt was made between 1885-1920 from cotton, wool, and silks including satin and velvet. I have always loved pineapple blocks. I remember taking a class where we drafted and made a pineapple block. I don't remember exactly how many hours it took to do one block, but it took the better part of a day! I have a real respect for these early quiltmakers--no rotary cutters, acrylic templates, or pre-printed foundation sheets.

"Everything old is new again"...I've heard that saying. I hear people talking about painting on quilts and acting like that is a new concept--it isn't. This "Stenciled Quilt" was made by Olivia Dunham Barnes (1807-1887) between 1825 and 1835. These old stenciled quilts were primarily from New England and New York State.
 Close up of stenciled quilt.
I just loved this quilt. "Slashed Star Quilt" was made by Sara Maartz in 1872. It is a variation on a Mariner's Compass quilt. I can't imagine making this quilt without modern quilting conveniences.
Here is a closeup of one of the blocks. The quilt was very closely hand quilted.
Check back. I have more pictures of the exhibit to share with you.

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