Friday, February 19, 2010

Amish quilts

Recently I ventured to the de Young Museum in San Francisco with three fellow Quilt Therapists for Amish Abstractions: Quilts from the Collection of Faith and Stephen Brown. Two of them had seen it before – one went to the symposium and the other had caught a docent tour. So I got the benefit of their commentary. Though a non-traditional quilter, I found much to admire.

The lighting was dim. To discern details, our noses were barely two inches away. Until the museum guard advised us to keep further back.

As expected, lots of traditional patterns. I finally get Tumbling Blocks. Usually blocks are stacked, but in one quilt they really look like they're about to tumble down. Many were very effective variations of traditional patterns.  And wonderful unnamed patterns. Here's one of my favorites. Gee, even the Amish had their rebels.

Colors showed up fantastically which may be attributable to the use of wool in some. Still, even when the quilt was cotton, color choices were terrific. The darker and duller colors were great foil for the brighter ones. As a border, they gave breathing space for the lively centers. And they gave weight to the composition. Besides black, variations of purple seemed to predominate.

No prints used at all. So different from all the named designer prints that prevail today. Just terrific colors, designs and compositions.

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