Note: When I got this book and wrote this post, I never connected it with Arajane's post about finding the same book at the Bainbridge Island Rotary Auction! I think it's HILARIOUS, because I remember loving the quilts at the time, but my swiss-cheese-brain never connected them when I found the book. I'm starting to think Arajane and I have a bit of hive-mind going on... take a look at her post for photos of more great quilts!
I'm not going to get into the whole existential discussion of what "modern quilting" is, because thinking too hard bores me and hurts my mind-grapes, but I have noticed that as I am exposed to more of the Quilt Canon, my affections are falling increasingly towards the traditional side of the tracks.
Which isn't to say that I don't love the colors and geometry and innovation of what we call Modern is, because I DO! But I keep finding that the quilts that truly rock my socks tend to be old-school. Like, pre-1900. They are HAMAZING.
I happened to pick up a book at Half-Price Books the other day, and started flipping through it despite its kinda naasty cover, Treasury of American Quilts, by Cyril L. Nelson and Carter Houck. By the time my brief flip-through was over, my head had exploded like, 7 times. Quilters: I highly suggest that you find this book and buy it, or at least check it out from the library. Ladies knew how to QUILT back in the day.
I can imagine that it isn't for everyone, and a few of these do ride the line between amazeballs and vomit, but I'm just so deeply impressed with the skills and imagination and design sense and freedom that I see in these quilts. I see a lot of great quilts, all the time, but these just seem somehow beyond what can be made with an electrically powered sewing machine in a house with modern plumbing with Netflix streaming in the background. They took so much of one's lifetime to complete, and many of them were probably made in community with other quilters.
I've got nothing against technology, and I'm not trying to say that modern conveniences make quilts less authentic; but to me there's just something in these that make it seem like they have something more.
Aaaaanyway, I'mma stop myself before I get too fluffy and sentimental. What was that about free tea towels, you say?
Well, it is 2013, and I've still got some 2013 Quilt Love Tea Towel Calendars sitting on my shelf, and I would like to send them to good homes. So, while they last, you get one FREE with any order from my etsy store of two 8" x 10" prints, OR one 11"x 17" print. Bam. Adopt one today, they are almost as cute as kittens. (Not really. Kittens are ADORABLE.) The shop announcement will let you know when they run out, and I'll try to mention it here, too.
Note: Don't put the tea towel in your cart when you check out, there is no coupon code that will take the cost off-- just buy the prints and I will automatically send you the calendar!