When we asked for submissions for our Utility issue we encouraged you to share stories about your quilts with us. All quilts have a story attached to them, and some quilts are also embedded with experience. Thankfully, in recent years quilts have been better appreciated as unique works of art than they were in the past. But the utility of fabric—its softness, color, and warmth—will always be an important aspect of quilts. The tangible way we interact with quilts adds to their value.
Blue Crosses, Blue Shields by Cathy Perlmutter @cathy.perlmutter
When Perlmutter was sewing crosses together for this quilt, the phrase “Blue Cross, Blue Shield” got stuck in her mind. She realized that jean pockets were the perfect addition to her crosses.
Casual Fridayby Krista Hennebury @poppyprint
The name for this quilt comes from when “casual Fridays'' became a thing at Hennebury’s workplace. The entire quilt is made from upcycled woven shirts.Casual Friday is used on the bed, in the backyard for movie night, couch reading, and for sunbathing.
Blue Pansy by Chandra Wu @bestcoasty
Blue Pansy was made to be a gift for an amazing high school teacher who was having a baby. The quilt has been slept with and well used. The hand quilting and embroidery add a touch of warmth and coziness to the quilt. Wu says about what this quilt can inspire, “We all could use that little extra love from thinking about babies–it's been an especially difficult time for healthcare workers, parents of young children and teachers. I hope to witness this generation quickly grow out of their cribs to conquer the world.”
Denim Repurposed by Cheryl Thomson @cherylthomasquilter
A friend challenged Thomson to make a quilt in the style of Gee’s Bend. Using only repurposed denim and corduroy, she made a two-sided quilt without using rulers or a rotary cutter. The orange and butter yellow in the quilt give it the perfect pop against the blues and browns.
Untitled by Natalie Skinner @natalieskinnerquilts
Skinner made this quilt at the request of her husband who asked for something to keep him warm on the dark, cold ferry rides back from his work trips to the mainland. The quilt now lives in the trunk of the car where it regularly gets pulled out and used on cold, wintry days.
Cocktails in the Library by Mary Elizabeth Kinch @maryelizabethkinch
Cocktails in the Library was made at a Beaver Island Quilt Retreat with Gwen Marston. The quilt didn't start out with a plan as to where the design of it was headed. Kinch let the quilt design guide her while piecing it together in a process she calls, “Conversational Composition.” She reports that her conversation withCocktails in the Library was a “wonderful talk.”
You can see these quilts and more inCurated Quilts, Issue no.20: Utility. Purchase your copy today!
By Brittany Bowen Burton