Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Quilts: Perfect Winter Folk Art

American folk art is all about making beautiful the functional, everyday, necessary items of life. What could be more useful than a quilt?

Quilts, like blankets, are for bedding. However, unlike blankets, they are often made of colorful, decorative designs that make incredible bed coverings and can also be made to be displayed on a wall as a work of art.

They are also artful historical records of family and community. So true to the country they are made it, they cross over class, age, and ethnicity. They are tangible, tactile records of life in America that tell a story that reflects the personality and passion of its maker, the quilter.

Throughout history there have been many types of quilts around the world.

For example:
== In the Italian Renaissance, quilting was very common
== A green silk quilt decorated with metal threads,roses and pomegranates was made for King Henry VIII's wedding to Catherine of Aragon.
== Bangladesh quilts were made of worn out saris (clothes).

In America, some of the more popular quilting traditions include the Amish which is basically solid in color so as not to be "too worldly" and the Log Cabin, a composition of blocks of fabric.

Celebration of this centuries' old folk art form is currently underway at the American Folk Art Museum in New York. Now through October 2011, the museum will exhibit, Quilts: Masterworks from the American Folk Art Museum. This well-thought out display highlights a range of textile masterpieces, some of which have rarely been seen before.

And with Winter in full swing, but better time than now to enjoy this hearty folk art form?

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