Unconventional & Unexpected – Almost 150 quilts you won’t find on Pinterest
Unconventional & Unexpected: American Quilts Below the Radar 1950-2000
by Roderick Kiracofe
Stewart, Tabori and Chang
2014, 224 pages, 11.7 x 10.2 x 1.1 inches
$31 Buy a copy on Amazon
A micro-review, in bullet points:
1. Almost 150 quilts you won’t find on Pinterest.
2. The essays are good.
3. When seeking visual pleasure and inspiration, a curated and finite set (like a book) can be more useful than an infinite set (like the internet).
Slightly more detail, if you’re still on the fence:
This book is not about formal, precision-pieced quilts but rather represents the growing interest in the improvisational and often surprising “everyday” quilts. Those depicted here are of the vintage (rather than antique) era. Most are by unknown makers. Collector Roderick Kiracofe has commissioned ten essays to offer context for the anonymous textiles.
Quilt historian Janneken Smucker smacks down the “myth of the scrap bag quilt.” Natalie Chanin (of Alabama Chanin) describes the class messaging of whole cloth vs. patchwork quilts when she grew up in the South. Texas quiltmaker Sherry Ann Bryrd explains the distinction between “precision”, “M-provisational” and “throw together” as quilting “languages” with different functions. Textile curator Amelia Peck writes about the challenge of curating anonymous work for an institutional collection. All worth reading. But mostly it’s about the pictures. – Reanna Alder
October 15, 2014
I wrote another book review.