Six and a half years ago, I started collecting and sharing the quilts of the 1970s. Soon after, I realized a lot of the quilts of the period were made of polyester double knit. It seemed like an obstacle. To simply utter the words "polyester" and "quilt" in the same sentence usually resulted in snarky comments and dookie face. There were some folks who really didn't like polyester...but were they really looking?
I had a feeling there was something special about these quilts, but faced the prevailing attitude that collecting them would never amount to much. Rather than following the strong advice of the quilt historians to not bother with polyester quilts, I decided to dive in.
"Don't believe me just watch." That's how I feel today. A few months from now I will be exhibiting polyester quilts at the International Quilt Study Center Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska-- a premiere venue for exhibiting quilts. If the quilts could talk, they might express sentiments similar to Sally Field in her 1985 Oscar acceptance speech.
The exhibition is scheduled for May 26 to August 27. Here's the description on the IQSCM website:
"In the era of flower-power and “Mod” fashion, polyester double-knit reigned as the ubiquitous and indestructible fabric of the age. Today it is often criticized as cheap, scratchy and horribly outdated, but in a pocket of time at the beginning of the 1970s quilt revival when good quality quilting cottons were not available, quiltmakers used what they had. These innovative and shockingly vibrant pieces from the Bill Volckening Collection occupy an important space in American quiltmaking tradition."
"Don't believe me just watch."
Stay tuned for more details.