Thursday, June 6, 2013

So who wants this book??

I wrote earlier this week about a book, "Erica Wilson's Quilts of America," which captures both the good and the bad of quilting in the late 70s.  Even the conventions of showing quilts in a book have changed -- this one doesn't tell the dimensions, let alone the materials or techniques.

Several of the prizewinning quilts were of a genre that I really hate: the multi-block depiction of a city or region's buildings and historical events.  This format is so marginal that you see it only in quilts or painted on floodwalls or underpasses in bad neighborhoods.  It does nothing for me, but myriads of community groups apparently think this is the cat's pajamas.

I like to think of this book it as grounds for rejoicing: boy, have we come a long way in the last four decades!

But why would anybody want to keep this book on her shelf?  Perhaps if you were a historian of recent quilt art, or of feminism, you would like this as documentation of an important time in art history.  Perhaps if you or your aunt had a quilt in the show!  (Although my brief google expedition found few of the prizewinners still active, at least as far as the web is concerned; Jinny Beyer and Chris Wolf Edmonds were the only two names I recognized.  Joan Schulze, who I think is the same person who became a wonderful fiber artist, was a finalist, losing out in California to a pale depiction of a windmill.)

I'd love to give this book away to somebody who would appreciate it.  Leave me a comment as to why you might want it, and next week I'll send it to the most worthy applicant.


  1. First let me say that I am not an eager potential recipient of your book.
    It was the name Erica Wilson which brought back memories. I arranged a meeting with her in 1982 when I lived in the States and was representing an illustrator friend. I hoped to sell Erica Wilson some images as embroidery patterns.
    It was quite an experience: I was invited to her Park Avenue apartment for breakfast, and met her husband, and sat chatting in their sitting room/aviary (!) - very pleasant - only to be told that they never paid for other people's designs.
    My illustrator friend was none too pleased (in fact it was a death knell in our relationship), but I relish the memory of that whole bizarre morning. Thanks for jogging it to the front of my brain again.

  2. I'd love to share this with the ladies in my sewing group - we meet weekly in our homes and much fun and laughter ensues and usually not a great deal of stitching!