Mar 27 2011

Red and White

Published by at 12:46 am under things-that-are-not-knitting

I did not knit today. Today, I marveled.

View from the entrance

Through a not entirely random series of events (a quilt show at FIT, stopping in to use a coupon we go there at my mom’s favorite quilt shop in the city, and a conveniently placed pamphlet at the register) my mom and I ended up at the Park Avenue Armory for the American Folk Art Museum’s exhibition Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts.

All of these quilts are from a private collection, and the owner apparently decided that she wanted to celebrate her 80th birthday by throwing herself an exhibition. Well. Rock on, Joanna S. Rose, because this is the most unique birthday party I’ve ever been to.

Looking across the drill hall

The best word I can use for this is dizzying. There’s over six hundred quilts in this exhibition and they are hung in the huge drill hall four and five high — and in the center? They spiral up in a seemingly-never-ending column. Everywhere you turn there’s a new design, a new technique, something new to admire.

This one caught my eye for the intricacy:

Cats? Unicorns?  Your guess is as good as mine.

And this one for its cross-craftual appeal:


But I think my favorite in the whole show was this one:

Redwork Flour Sack Quilt

This quilt was made of squares cut from flour sacks, with the flour company designs embroidered in red. It’s such a perfect example of the idea of folk art, taking the ordinary everyday objects in life and making something beautiful and even breathtaking out of them. I stood next to this one for a long time just enjoying all of the fine details and contrasting logos.

The only negative thing? This exhibit is only open until March 30th. If you’re in New York this week, you should definitely catch it! It’s even free, so there’s no excuse to miss it. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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