Monday, October 3, 2011


1970s tied quilt, all double-knit polyester
I've been finding a lot of wonderful 1970s double-knit polyester quilts lately, and there are some trends I'm noticing. Common threads, if you will. Many of these quilts are actually tied, and some only have two layers and no batting. Quilts in the 70s were not necessarily three layers and quilted, but if there was piecework and applique involved, it was generally seen as a quilt.

1970s Butterfly quilt, tied and 100% double-knit polyester
Many of these works, including the three in this blog post, are simply finished. Two are tied, and one is quilted. These three quilts have white backgrounds with all-over designs and a highly simplified sense of craft. The colors include a limited use of primary color combined with strong use of pastels and other non-primary colors.

Technically, there is a lot of push-pull with the use of color in these three quilts. Strong colors jump to the foreground. Muted colors fade into the background. In the first quilt, a structured pattern with strong red and yellow jumps out from a less organized, more muted background.

These quilts were made during a time when Pop Art was part of American culture. The Pop Art method of creating spacial relationships with basic use of color was certainly part of the artist's vocabulary, but these wonderfully upbeat quilts show how the language of color had infiltrated the mainstream. As they would've said in the 70s, "Cool."


  1. Cool indeed!! I love these quilts you've shared and your thoughts about them.

  2. Try quilting a piece of polyester and you will understand why they are tied! (or as they say here in the south..."knotted."

  3. LOL, first I must learn to thread a needle. :)

  4. That Nine-Patch is clamshell quilted.