While modernists were struggling to free color from
imagery, quiltmakers were nonchalantly
setting a standard for abstraction that is hard to meet.
Quilts born of necessity and available fabric
seem perfectly modern when displayed on a wall.
Even quilts made in conventional patterns
can look like mere structure for applying color
(sort of like toast as a structure for applying butter.)
Color depends on technology. It's only in the
mid-20th century that dyers have been
able to give consumers a true range of colors.
Although some turn-of-the-20th-century
women did quite well with the limited
shades available at the time.