Friday, September 4, 2015

America, The Beautiful!

This remarkable 1970s United States Map quilt came from Deborah Ursell of San Antonio. Deborah is a great picker with an especially vast knowledge of vintage mass-produced bedding. I keep telling her she should write a book, because what she knows is so valuable and does not exist in a published form. Deborah was the key to the attribution of the Bob Timberlake quilt in my New York Beauty book. She has also sold me several wonderful quilts.

A woman named Faith Thomas made the quilt, and there is a small label at the bottom on the front--somewhere in Mexico. I'm not sure her name made it in to the materials for the show, but it's there if you look; a mass-produced ribbon label, the kind people would have made and later use on their handmade textile creations. She left out Alaska and Hawaii, but we know these spectacular places are also part of America. Every time I look at this quilt, I can't help blurting out, "Party in North Carolina!" (Washington, too. And Oregon should be green.)

The quilt is actually a two-layer spread, backed and tied with no batting. All of the patchwork is raw-edge appliqué secured with a simple machine zig-zag stitch. Being polyester double knit, the fabric has resisted fraying. The whole piece is 90" x 68".

This quilt is part of a select group of domestically-made 1970s 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. Party in North Carolina, indeed!

  2. I would never think of North Carolina as a party state . . . but now I'll rethink that.

  3. I really, really love this quilt, Bill. It's so fun! :)

  4. There's a story in there somewhere - with deep roots in N. Carolina. Wouldn't you love to hear it? (Or write it?)