Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"Oriental Express" by Debra Kerns

"Oriental Express" 1999 by Debra Kerns of Lafayette, Indiana
The quilt I blogged about the other day has arrived, and I'm just delighted. I found this quilt on eBay late last week, bought it on Saturday, and wasn't expecting it to arrive so soon, but here it is. The quilt is called "Oriental Express" and is an relatively early example in the modern wave of New York Beauty quilts inspired by artist Karen Stone. Debra Kerns of Lafayette, Indiana, made the quilt in 1999 as a commission for the Quilter's Harvest shop in Lafayette. It's a wonderful example, made with Japanese print fabrics and batiks, and quilted with shimmering thread. Here are some more pictures. Enjoy!!

Detail showing one of the windmill variation border blocks
Detail showing four blocks, which form overlapping, spiked circles
Detail showing lush peacock fabric with gold printed outlines
Back label- I blurred the address to maintain the artist's privacy
Detail of the Japanese print back fabric with figures in traditional garb
Detail showing one of the figures on the back fabric


  1. Interesting fabrics...I think I may have a few of these in my stash! Oriental fabrics were going through a real resurgence at that time...

  2. That certainly looks an exciting quilt to have. Most of your quilts seem to be much older are you extending your collection into the modern era? How many modern quilts do you own?

  3. That's a great quilt and a nice addition to your collection.

  4. Hi Nicky, That's a good question. I started to become interested in more recently made quilts during the last couple years and have collected a few, maybe half a dozen. Most of those are the New York Beauty pattern because I have a special interest in this pattern. In a few months I will be doing an exhibit that will show the historical progression of the pattern from the 1840's to 2011. Aside from the NY Beauties, I also have a quilt given to me by Andrea Balosky, aka Nyima Lhamo, which was included in Quilt National in the early 80's, and yesterday I bought a couple of her recently made tiny quilts from the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. In the future, the group of more recently made quilts may expand. At the end of the day, all new quilts eventually become old quilts. :)

  5. One additional note on new vs. old. I've learned about old quilts for many years, but have only been exposed to new quilts recently. In our travels with the Oregon Quilt Project, we've seen some great quilts made recently and I've been lucky to meet the makers. Lori D. is one of these quilt makers, and her work impresses me. I'm also a member of the NW Quilters, so I get to see new quilts and even works in progress a lot more than I used to.