Friday, April 21, 2017

Bicentennial Quilt by Barb McKie

Bicentennial quilt, 61" x 73" by Barbara McKie, Lyme, Connecticut
This superb Bicentennial quilt by Barbara McKie arrived yesterday. If the name Barb McKie sounds familiar, it's because she made the wonderfully modern black and white "Interacting Pyramids" quilt, the one I found in the antiques shop in Aurora a few weeks ago.

I shared that quilt during show and tell last night at the Portland Modern Quilt Guild meeting. It was by far the oldest quilt there, made in 1974, and in my opinion it was the most modern. There were wide eyes, mouths agape and audible gasps, my three favorite things when sharing an old quilt with a large audience like that.

screen shot from Barb's web site showing one of her photographic textile works
Barb's name is familiar in art quilting circles. When I found the black and white quilt, people asked if it was the same Barb McKie they knew through SAQA. Her most recent work involves photography and quilting, beautiful although a departure from her early work. A well-rounded artist, she works in a variety of media and makes jewelry and wearable art as well as quilts. Her husband Jim is a sculptor.

As a collector of old quilts, I have a soft spot in my heart for the early works, and now I'm lucky enough to have two of them, both from my favorite decade, the 1970s!

The Bicentennial quilt includes a variety of fabrics and techniques. It is machine pieced and hand and machine appliquéd and has cottons, velvets and some felted wools.

The design features a map of the continental United States in silhouette in the center, filled with an American flag, and sections of flags from various countries including Russia radiating from the US map. I was pretty speechless when I first saw it. Many thanks to Barbara for offering me the quilt. I hope people around the world will now see it and enjoy it as much as I do.


  1. That bicentennial quilt is spectacular! It's so cool when you can tell the story of the quilt and all this background about the artist though, she is so talented delving in so many creative pursuits!

  2. That's an incredible quilt! The creator is such a multi-talented artist.