Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What's Floating My Boat + Free Tea Towels

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!


mjb said...

I feel like a geek for all the reading I do about quilt history lately, but it's awesome - Wonkyworld blog and Barbara Brackman are a couple to check out. And in my Gwen Marston books the vintage quilts are even better than the ones she makes in that style.

arajane said...

ok, get out of town lady! i totally found that same book a few months ago and blogged about how it blew my mind grapes, too!


annie said...

my favorites were numbers 63, 50, & 35. Splendid.
And I may have to look into that free tea towel offer.

Kathleen said...

I have had this book for quite a while, one thing that I have noticed is that even if there is a quilt that isn't particularly a favorite there is always some thought or idea that can be derived from it. There is always a lesson to be learned. It's a great reference book for anyone's library.

Anonymous said...

I just saw your post on this quilting issue. I have been quilting since 1984 and am now 50 yrs old. Its not that old because I still feel 35 LOl. Anyway, back then there was a simple peace about patchwork and quilting and most of the trade was a home based for your own personal needs thing. It was not a business mostly. ALso there were different ways people looked at quilts, it was not so full of rules like today , even the modern people have rules even if they dont admit to it. I went to a quilt store here in Jersey and the lady scolded me for wanting to mix modern brights with civil war fabric in the same quilt. She almost had keniptions. SO I said what ever happened to modern quilting? she said MODERN means a STYLE NOT modern thinking !!!!LOL NOT progressive thinking where anything goes and you are ok with it.....I think those quilter felt freer than today..