Monday, November 24, 2014


I would like to announce a collaboration from my three favorite authors.......................................................................................

Since it is only a fantasy, I'm left sharing a few comments about books in my library.  
Many years of magazine subscriptions was the gateway to collecting books, and I used a strategy.  When a book excited me, I would study the bibliography and learn what resources the author used.  Then I would set out to acquire a few of those books. 

Everything about finding and buying my copy of The American Quilt, by Roderick Kiracofe, 1993 is clearly recalled.  It was the high point of my day and the foundation for my quilt study.  The Amish quilt c. 1900 by Elizabeth Hershberger, Arthur, Illinois was completely unexpected.  It was like no other Amish quilt I had seen. The American Quilt was opening a new world for me, and I found I was drawn to abstract design.
Figure 183, p. 184
The American Quilt
Abstract Design In American Quilts: A Biography of an Exhibition, by Jonathan Holstein, 1991 was published for the 20th. anniversary of the 1971 exhibit, Abstract Design In American Quilts at the Whitney Museum of American Art.  Art enthusiasts, Jon Holstein and Gail van der Hoof, collected quilts with particular visual qualities.  They were discovering vintage American quilts with design elements resembling modern paintings.  The 1971 exhibit  presented quilts as visual objects, art, and hung the quilts as if they were paintings and the New York art crowd was energized.  The exhibit closed at the Whitney and traveled the world.  Jonathan Holstein tells the fascinating story of 2 people who noticed art in American Quilts, and what happened next.  The impact of this exhibit touches me all these years later.
26. Sawtooth, Massachusetts. ca. 1900, p. 168
Abstract Design in American Quilts: A Biography of an Exhibition
Visiting an exhibit in the company of the artist is not something most of us will do.  37 Sketches, by Gwen Marston, 2011 approximates this experience.  In this lovely book, Gwen shares her artistic process and experimentation with composition and scale. This book is one of my valuable companions since being introduced to it at the 2011 Beaver Island Quilt Retreat.
Small Study 25, 2010 p. 66 & 67
37 Sketches
I was also introduced to the 37 Sketches at the retreat.  Here I am in front of Gwen's small studies. 

Gwen will offer a guest post about 37 Sketches so please return in a few days. If you can't wait, visit Gwen here: 

Roderick Kiracofe has just published a new book Unconventional & Unexpected: American Quilts Below the Radar 1950-2000.  Visit


  1. Three of my favorites, each in its own way.

    1. Bill, Your quilt looks good on p. 169 of Unconventional & Unexpected. As you said, Kiracofe's new book is one to happily add to the library.