Thursday, September 10, 2015


A favorite quilt in my 1970s collection is this little beauty from 1973 called "Klee" by Marsha McCloskey of Eugene, Oregon. The idea for the quilt came from an image in a coffee table book, a 1928 painting called "Castle and Sun" by artist Paul Klee. The quilt was made as a wallhanging, a very outside-the-box idea at the time.

"Castle and Sun" 1928 by Paul Klee
McCloskey, educated in graphic design, had already made her first quilts by the time she made "Klee". Today, she is a well-traveled and beloved teacher, author and fabric designer, among other things. Her career spans more than five decades and she is widely known for her precision pieced Feathered Star designs. When I asked how she was able to accomplish so much, she humbly said, "I guess I just got there first."

Whenever people see "Klee" for the first time and realize it is a Marsha McCloskey quilt, there is always a big reaction; surprise and delight in the discovery of a rare, early work by a very well known quiltmaker. I cannot overstate the importance of this quilt, made at the beginning of the art quilt movement, referring directly to a famous work of art. And of course, its maker, Marsha McCloskey is a gem.

I blogged about the quilt for "Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics" in a post called "Quilts, Art or Not?" - click here to read.

"Klee" is part of an eye-opening group of barely-vintage quilts currently on display in  "Modern Materials, Quilts of the 1970s" at the Benton County Museum in Philomath, Oregon. For more information about the exhibition, location, hours,  and other venues showing quilts during Quilt County 2015, click here.


  1. Oh my gosh - I just bought that chart - Castle and Sun - for counted cross stitch! Small world. Your quilt is beautiful!

  2. Thank you for being such a great cheerleader!