Your Grandmother’s Quilts (Or Not): alt_quilts at the American Folk Art Museum

Your Grandmother's Quilts (Or Not): alt_quilts at the American Folk Art Museum | The Zen of Making

Your Grandmother's Quilts (Or Not): alt_quilts at the American Folk Art Museum | The Zen of Making

One of my favorite things about quilting is how incredibly versatile, rich, and relevant such a traditional art form can be to today’s makers. I love that an art quilt can look right at home hanging between an antique log cabin quilt and a top pieced of paper, and that all three will have drawn from the same vibrant heritage of creativity, utility, and craftsmanship. Regardless of when or how a quilt was made, I always find myself attracted to the tangible sense of history and connection that it brings to the quilters who have come before me, and I’m always eager to know the stories that tie this quilt to its maker and its time. Quilts in all forms provide an enduring look into the lives and the worlds of the quilters who made them, and, from pop culture icons to double wedding rings, we can learn a great deal from their designs and the materials used to create them. The American Folk Art Museum seemed to have these ideas very much in mind when they created their alt_quilts exhibition.

I had a chance to see the alt_quilts a little more than a week ago when my friend (and talented quilter) Susan was in town, and we really enjoyed seeing so many lovely quilts in one place. Here are a few photos of my favorites:

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I thought that the American Folk Art Museum’s choice to feature the work of three contemporary artists with very different styles (Sabrina Gschwandtner, Luke Haynes, and Stephen Sollins) alongside antique quilts from their own collection was a wonderful way to illustrate the depth, breadth, and diversity that exists within the quilting community. If you’re in the NYC area, I’d definitely recommend seeing alt_quilts in person. (The exhibition will be on display until January 5th, 2014.)

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