Françoise Barnes, Art Deco, 1980
Collection of the International Quilt Study Center & Museum
Art Deco seemed a natural for quilt design.
The first quilt I ever designed for Quilters Newsletter in the late '70s had blocks combining traditional patchwork and images from the art deco restaurant dishes I was collecting at the time.
Editor Bonnie Leman rejected the design (similar to the one above) and wrote me she would prefer articles with more traditional ideas.
Other artists saw the same links and the same divide between traditional quilts and art quilts. Francoise Barnes, Nancy Crow, Virginia Randles and friends who lived in Athens, Ohio got tired of rejection slips and created a venue to show quilts taking off in new directions. The first Quilt National was held in 1979 at the Dairy Barn in Athens.
Many quilts in that innovative first exhibit surprised us with their geometries.
Maria McCormick Snyder
Log Cabin Variation
The three quilts above were in that first Quilt National. The show continued to attract work
based on the affinity between patchwork and historical modernism.
Zaire Songe Mask II, 1989
Many of the artists involved in the first Quilt National continued to explore the arcs and lines of Art Deco.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, 1985
See more of Crow's work here:
Michael James, Unnamed, 1986
See more of Michael James's quilts here
Jane Sassaman, Waves, 1981-1986
See more of Sassaman's work here:
Pauline Burbidge, Spiral 1, 1985
See more of Burbidge's work here:
And see more about Quilt National 1979http://www.dairybarn.org/quilt/index.php?section=226&page=293
Jane Sassaman, Heaven and Earth, 1993