​Unbound by the Basics

​Unbound by the Basics

Beavers Terrace Gallery

Some of the most visually intriguing quilts are surprisingly simple. Such quilts may feature one basic shape, as in the Tumbling Block and Nine Patch quilts displayed nearby, or only two colors, as in the Oak Leaf variation and Log Cabin quilts. Rather than restricting design, these characteristics provide nearly unlimited license to create patterned surfaces, the illusion of a third dimension, and subtle shifts from light to dark.

The quilts in this group contain evidence that the makers had an abundance of options, yet chose a constrained approach. After the American Civil War (1861-1865) large quantities of fabric became available at low prices, and makers could afford to cut apart several yards of one or two fabrics specifically for a patchwork quilt. The variety of shirting or dress prints and solids in a single color family signals the abundant availability of serviceable cotton and wool goods in the late 1900s.

The quilts in this exhibition are from the International Quilt Museum’s Education Collection, whose purpose is to engage and educate the public about global quiltmaking practices. They may be displayed in environments with fluctuating temperatures and uncontrolled light—two elements that shorten the lifespan of textiles.

Event Date
Tuesday, January 26, 2021 to Saturday, June 12, 2021