Sunday, August 31, 2008

Back to Schoolhouses

Although it's still summer sultry and sticky here on the Carolina coast, kids are going back to school already. And even if you've been out of school yourself for a million years, there's something about September. Maybe it's those ads for back-to-school supplies that lure me visit the nearest Staples store and purchase shiny new notebooks and crayons of every color.

I can resist the urge to splurge if I re-focus my September energies on another symbol of the season. I love Schoolhouse quilts! When I see a great one, I want to snap a picture and keep it in my mental 'schoolhouse quilts to do' file. This one from, I think, an ebay auction, is one of my favorites. Love the greys and pinks in the blocks and that double zig-zag border.

I wish I could be as free to mix-n-match materials as that unknown quiltmaker of old. Here are two of my modern Schoolhouse pieces-much more coordinated than the antique quilt. It's a control issue...

The blue one was done just for fun but the brown one was made specifically to showcase a line of fabrics I did for Michael Miller in 2004. The best thing about the blue piece is that the strips and background fades nicely and the best thing about the brown one is that the plaids anchor the strips between the blocks. Go figure-I think it's a quiltmaker's prerogative to change the way she does things even when making the same pattern. Studio artists call it "working in a series."
I call it messing around.