Maybe I was getting weary of uber-busy quilts or those masterpiece quilts with designs so elaborate they remind me of Victorian wallpaper. But the day I cruised Ebay and found these old girls, their simple patterns, forthright quilting, and yes even their wear-and-tear were appealing. I love this kind of country quilt. It seems so honest. True, it is a bed covering and at the same time, slam it up against a white wall in a New York loft gallery and watch people's jaws drop. Good as graphic art and with added benefits: if the heat's off, you can snatch that quilt from the wall and wrap right up in it.
The faded gold and black quilt is from Texas. It has lots wrong structurally with it-threads loose, a few little holes batting pokes through, and a ratty binding. The patchwork block is so simple that you almost miss the fact that once upon a time when this quilt was young, those white framing strips were indeed striped fabric.
The second quilt is late 1930s or maybe the 1940s. The pattern is often called Bulls-Eye. The prints here are much more feedsack-ish and feminine. This cheerful quilt is from Arkansas and in good condition.
Thecloser you look at the quilt, the more interesting it is. You can see the quiltmaker boldly used striped fabric and consistently used white, with one exception, as the blocks' centers.
We can surmise from a couple of clues that the maker was likely poor. Or perhaps raised and taught quilting by a grandmother who prized thrift as a virtue. Some blocks are pieced.
There's even rayon in the quilt.
The stitching is a geometric 'elbow' of right-angled lines and the white stitches show well against the cornflower blue backing.