Monday, August 29, 2011

Fragmented Pieces and Leftovers

I thoroughly enjoyed the Scrap Art Exhibit at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles.
They provided a great cross section of scrap quilts from contemporary to vintage.

As you enter the main gallery there is a well written insight into the minds of the artists:
The definition of scrap-fragments, pieces, leftovers, junk, odds and ens, used and discarded-implies a vast wasteland of useless stuff. What is it about this stuff that has always been a source of great inspiration to artists and makers?"

Louise Groom
Unnamed c. 1920-1930
Hand sewn
101" X 87"
Collection of Michael Groom and Christine Morse
"The quilt was made by Louise Groom who lived in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Louise was born in 1904 and probably made the quilt sometime in the late 1920's or early 1930's"

The quilt seemed to me to be a little bit of a Trip Around The World mixed with a Postage Stamp pattern.
Look at the variety of fabrics and small squares.

The red diagonal squares stop the eye, acting as an inner border.
Notice the solid cream/white for edges gives the effect of being painted on a canvas.

And the hand quilting seems as random as the fabrics.
Do you think the maker might have traded fabric squares with neighbors and friends to gather such a collection?

Nine Patch Variation c. 1925-1950


Hand Pieced, hand quilted, backing is pieced: 3/4 one printed fabric and 1/4 solid blue fabric, brought to front on three sides.

71" X 84"

The quilt was found in Wingo, Kentucky

From the collection of Roderick Kiracofe

Roderick Kiracofe generously provided 6 vintage quilts from his collection for this exhibit. and I noticed that all were from the Southern part of the United States 1925-1975.

The use of black polka dots on white/ white polka dots on black mixed with red are very popular with quilters today.

The 9 Patches again seem random with a use what you have, rather than a lot of pre-planning.

Even the dark/ light ratio doesn't follow any kind of pattern.

I remember learning that to be pleasing to the eye, when you have a geometric pattern, make sure to top quilt with a circular or floral design. That way the two patterns won't fight with each other.

The maker had a good sense of what would look best, with the hand quilting of circles.


Lois Evensen said...

Another fun post. I love looking at these old quilts. Thanks for sharing.

em's scrapbag said...

I love scrap quilts. These are awesome. Thanks for sharing.

Lynne (Lily's Quilts) said...

Nedra, that is so wonderful and I feel exactly the same - I feel like we are just a part of the history of quilting that has all happened before and will all happen again!

Me and My Stitches said...

Thanks for sharing. I just love looking at antique quilts and all of the different fabrics in them.

Browndirtcottage said...

OH MY! OH MY! I'm just swooning over these vintage quilts!! Of course I'm crazy over ALL those tiny squares!!!!!!

Tonya Ricucci said...

wonderful. love that 9-Patch and oh the quilting!!!!!

Calamity Jane's Cottage, Bonnie said...

These quilts are so special. I have my grandma's postage stamp quilt (hand pieced and hand quilted) it is such a treasure to me. Thanks for sharing.

Cathy @ CabbageQuilts said...

That 'stuff' has certainly made two gorgeous quilts. I adore that postage stamp/around the world quilt, I would love to have a go at making one like that! Need a little time though! xo