Saturday, February 14, 2009


In recent years, I’ve become increasingly interested in collecting textiles – namely, quilts. I’ve discovered few modern quilt artists out there today who have truly captured me. Not surprising – my Grandmother is a crazy brilliant artist; she’s a painter, an award winning gardener and quilter. Her quilts are inspired. I’ve learned to appreciate them so much as I’ve grown older – her varied composition and aesthetic (some have more traditional patterns – others are wildly psychedelic), the delicate, patient precision of her hand stitched quilting, the years it can take to complete one of her masterpieces, the love she puts into each one.

Evellyn Yeager

One of my Grandmother's quilts from my collection. She gave this quilt to me as a college graduation gift. The quilt tells the story of the universe - a nod to my love for the cosmos and Carl Sagan.

'COSMOS' Detail.

Evellyn Yeager

A crazy quilt of my Grandmother's from my collection. Crazy quilting was all the rage during the Victorian Era in the final decades of the 19th Century.
They're typically made of abstract shapes and various types of fabric sewn together with embroidery seams and motifs to embellish the quilt including flowers, birds and sometimes a spider and web for good luck. These quilts are typically made smaller than quilts used as bed coverings and used as decorative throws.

Detail of Untitled crazy quilt. My grandmother sews in fabrics, trimmings and other items that she has collected over the years - many of them come from the clothing my mother and her sister wore as children, old silk ties, various pins and clothing labels. I love hearing the stories behind the different elements - a true family portrait!

While I tend to prefer modern art (turn of the century and beyond), I’ve also begun to really admire Amish quilts from the mid 1800’s for their simple block patterns and color harmonies. The collective creation and storytelling of the Amish quilting bee gives quilts from this era a certain soul.

There’s a fabulous restaurant in DC, Restaurant Nora – one of the best in the city – that has this gorgeous collection of museum quality antique Mennonite and Amish crib quilts. In addition to the daily-changing, completely organic, unreal yummy menu, I can’t get enough of Nora for the art – a must try.

Restaurant Nora's Wine Library and Main Dining Room. Gorgeous Mennonite and Amish crib quilts.

Today’s modern quilts tend to borrow from other media – taking on a painterly or collage-like feel – mimicking perspective, shadowing, subject matter and composition, transforming the medium much like sculpture did for painting and industrialism and architecture did for music.

Two pretty psychedelic quilts from Brooklyn based, Tokyo born artist Ai Kijima

Quilts from Phoenix-based
Regina Alexandra's Faces series.

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