Sunday, September 20, 2015

schooled in color

This quilt is one of my favorite 1970s quilts! I know. I say that about every quilt, but I really mean it with this one. Using hot pink and yellow ochre together harmoniously seems as likely as putting brown mustard on a piece of bubble gum and enjoying it.

The maker may have known all along it would work. Never in a million years would I have thought to put those colors together. Most surprising of all, it worked. The inclusion of blue and green, the substitution of beige for yellow ochre in places, even the heavy black sashing with red cornerstones worked. Usually I fare well when it comes to color, and could list credentials to back it up. This quilt schooled me in color.

The quilt came from Susan Nichols, a seller in Marshall, Texas. I bought it in May, 2013, and it is one of four quilts I bought from her between May and December that year. All of those quilts were bright, offbeat, included synthetics, and were made in the 1970s period.

There are nearly 850 pieces in the quilt including the borders. It is sparsely hand quilted at four stitches per inch, with rows of quilting separated by an inch or more-- approximately 25,000 quilting stitches. With the exception of maybe seven striped cotton patches, the quilt top is polyester double knit and the back is muslin brought from back to front for binding. There are borders on four sides, narrower on one edge; three of those borders were made with acrylic knit fabric and the other pieced with bright blue and green. Dimensions are 76" x 84".

This quilt 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. Love that you believe you can have everything in a collection be a favorite. We all can learn so much from you. Great colors!