Lessons in Red and White – Part 1

It has been 9 months since the Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts show hit NYC (March 25 – 30, 2011). It was an event not to be missed. I had the opportunity to visit the show 4 times over the 6 days the show ran. The first glimpse of the room on that opening day was like opening a lifetimes worth of birthday, Christmas, and graduation presents all at once.
View as the doors were opened for the start of the show.

I spent hours there looking at the quilts and the quilting that comprised the quilts.  It made me reflect a bit on my quilting journey and were we are in quilting today.
What struck me was the bold power and bold simplicity of these two colors. It made the geometry of the block patterns stand – in an energizing way.  It drew me back to the simplicity (and complexity) of the Amish quilts with their use of solid colors and simple block patterns.
Many of the fabrics we have to work with today are ablaze with color and pattern – big bold patterns, big bold colors. But at this show – it was only Solid Red (if there was a print it was a very small print) and Solid White (I think it is safe to say – no prints).  A bold contrast in value, a great statement of simplicity and clean lines. So,  I recently sat back to reflect on how this show is changing and has changed how I approach my quilting.
  • I am looking at how I can create quilts from single block patterns
  • I am looking at how I can create dynamic quilts from only two colors, or ranges of value in two colors. And yes – working in solids.
  • Re-thinking how I approach my quilting – re-discovering the simplicity and complexity of grid and straight line quilting.
  • Discovering a desire to take up hand quilting – to find a small project that I can carry with me and work on. Not so much to re-discover an art form – but to help me “slow down” in this fast paced world, and to learn to enjoy the process as well as the product.
Now a question for all of you that either were at the show or have seen pictures of the show – how has your thinking about quilting – what and how you quilt been influenced in any way because of the show?
To view more pictures from the Infinite Variety show – visit my Flickr Page.