This wonderful velvet quilt just arrived from a seller in El Prado, New Mexico. It is 70" x 71" and each of the 64 string pieced blocks is approximately 8 & 3/4". It is backed with flannel and tied, the backing brought to the front for binding, and it appears to be pieced on cloth foundation. Sometimes I see velvet in Victorian crazy quilts, but I don't see all-velvet quilts often. It is even more uncommon to see one with such an original design that is not a crazy quilt.
The other all-velvet quilt in my collection is pretty well known. It is the 1920s Fans, on the cover of the first edition of "American Quilts: The Democratic Art, 1780-2007" by Robert Shaw. That quilt came from Laura Fisher in New York. It was part of the exhibition at the Whatcom Museum when I bought it, so I had to wait for the exhibition to end to receive it.
Laura gave me her best deal, but it was still a high-end purchase. The velvet quilt from New Mexico, on the other hand, was an incredible bargain. It is appealing as the fans quilt; perhaps more so, depending on who's looking. The colors are rich and earthy, and the design is so graphic.
I love the design; such a simple idea to place stripes in four directions, neatly organized and alternating direction by block. It creates an illusion of space and depth, and the velvet is supple and luminous. There's something about the way velvet catches the light. What a great find! Now I have an eye out for velvet.