The 2004 exhibit catalogue, "American Quilt Classics 1800 - 1980,"
from the Mint Museum of Craft + Design, contains 36 truly unique and
fabulous quilts collected over the years, by Fleur Bresler. She recently
donated them, her books, and research materials to the Mint Museum, and Merikay
Waldvogel wrote the text. The catalogue/book is 79 pages, with 36 full-size
quilts and many detail shots. Nearly half the quilts date pre-CW, and the rest
pre-circa 1930s, one is 1980, hence the catalogue title.
There is a very unusual album quilt that dates
to c.1850. In a quick glance, one might think it's early 20th century. Each
appliqué motif is different and unlike those seen in other R&G, teal,
orange, and pink 1800s album quilts. Plus, there are rather large red squares.
placed on point, free floating across the top, between the myriad of appliqués
in many sizes and shapes. Obviously they are corner stones, but there is no
evidence of sashing or blocks in this picture. There is no usual border
either; stemmed flowers grow out of the sides, like a single spring flower from
the ground. The scalloped edges are bound with a dark, perhaps red, binding.
The scallops are fairly small, rather than large and fit the overall size,
This quilt is worth the entire catalogue -- but
it's one of many. Fleur collected one or two of many different styles such as
blue-resist, chintz, stenciled, Baltimore album, one crib size and one regular,
cut-out chintz, whitework, six Amish, various foundation pieced types, a 1930s
reproduction of the 19th century Phoebe Warner Quilt, and other appliquéd and
pieced ones. Interestingly, they tend to be child size or an irregular,
uncommon size. For example, the blue-resist quilt, c.1840, is 99 1/4" X
60 1/2". The heavily blue on white resist fabric is surrounded by a wide
indigo border on three sides. The binding is blue-resist, too. These are wow
quilts because they are really unusual -- folk art comes to mind often.
Merikay describes the evolution of quilt
history via the quilt styles and patterns. She goes into a lot of detail on
each type and when they began, plus provenance and social history associated
with the quilts and other aspects influencing them. It's very informative and
interesting and a fun-to-read catalogue. The notes section is a good research
aid, too. The color close-up photos are terrific and are in the text section.
Although the exhibit is now over, Merikay has copies available. The book has a
colorful embossed cover, it's $20.00, $3.00 S&H from Merikay, firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is a picture of it (item # 637) and some of the quilt exhibit, too, at
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