Not your everyday coverlet…

Sisters, Oregon

In July of 2005 I visited cousins in Sisters, Oregon.  Previously unbeknownst to me, the largest outdoor quilt show in the world displays over 1000 quilts on the second Saturday of July, every year, in Sisters, Oregon.  Attendance: ~12,500 on Quilt Show day. (Not my photo, but from the 2005 show.)  Spent an afternoon in lovely weather viewing the show.  Wow!

My son and I enjoyed Christmas of 2006 with my brother’s family in San Francisco, and, as an architect, I wanted to see the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park, (designed by Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron,  opened in 2005).

Previously unbeknownst to me, The Quilts of Gee’s Bend was showing there.  Wow! 

The Quilts of Gee’s Bend

a selection of more than 60 quilts made by four generations of African American women.  Descended from slaves, the women of this community assembled quilts of astonishing artistry.

The quilts were pieced from scraps of fabric often salvaged from worn-out clothes combined in extraordinary combinations of color, pattern, and texture. 

Bold, more akin to the rhythms of jazz and African art than to the order and repetitiousness of many traditional American quilts.

I have been considering quilting, and was perusing the Web.  Found these two marvelous sites:

Anna VonMertens

Portraits was showing at the Sara Meltzer Gallery in 2009.  These are quilts by Anna VonMertens.

… her process of hand-dyeing and hand-stitching cotton fabric straddles a line between painting and craft; it embraces tradition while simultaneously pushing the notion of painting.

In her new body of work, the artist interprets auras for iconic portraits from art history…  Hand painting dye onto fabric, the artist creates an aura in the same proportions as the original painting and then superimposes hand stitching to indicate the subject’s chakra pattern. The result is …abstract painting.

Shown here is Madame X’s aura, after John Singer Sargent, 2009, hand-stitched, hand-dyed cotton.   Wow!

Lori Allison

A bit more pedestrian, but still lovely, are the works of Lori Allison.

Lori’s first pattern, Funky Rainbow Crazy Logs was designed for adolescent quilters and it remains a good seller. “Every year there’s a new group of 12-year olds who are seeing “Funky Rainbow Crazy Logs” for the first time!”

I do love her Funky Rainbow Crazy Logs, a detail shown hereWow!

Then I discovered that Tucson has its own quilt show.  Must go in January.

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3 Responses to “Not your everyday coverlet…”

  1. N Says:

    Interesting. I would love to attend the quilt fiesta in January. Maybe we could go see “Wicked” on the 23rd after visiting the quilts that afternoon?

  2. Barbara Kittle Says:

    I was in Sisters a few years ago and went to the quilt store – overwhelming! I have never seen so much fabric in one place.
    And Jay and I saw the Gee’s Bend quilt show in San Francisco, it was so interesting that we didn’t see much else of the De Young. Loved the tower though – 360 degree view of The City. And do you remember the Andy Goldsworthy piece leading up to the entrance of the museum? It’s a long crack which ends in a cracked rock – evoking an earthquake.



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