Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Quilts as Graphic Design

I am not really and Americana person, while admiring certain things from time to time (love weathervanes, but can't afford them!). However, I ws taken by an episode on the HGTV show Sarah's House in which she started with a quilt as a design object and built the bedroom decor around it.

HGTV - Sarah's House

She found this yellow and white star patterned quilt at an antiques fair, and it reminded me how graphic old quilts can be. They can almost be abstract art.

Traditional Home - Designer: Suzanne Kasler

The owners of the home profiled in this Traditional Home spread are collectors of quilts. But you can see how just one quilt could lend itself to a decorative statement. I don't think the decor needs to be traditional to use a quilt for it's graphic qualities.

I confess to knowing very little about quilts, and would thus not want to spend too much unless I learned more. Copake Auction in Copake, NY usually has quilts in their estate auctions, so I thought I'd go there to see what they might cost, and whether I could find some graphic designs.

For those of us that like black and white as a graphic statement, these two fit the bill. The 19th century quilt on the left above sold for $650. The coverlet on the right is actually signed and dated 1850. It sold for $500.

If you'd like more color in your room, these two quilts have wonderful designs and could easily serve as a basis for an overall color scheme. I'd pick up the green in the one on the left and build around it. It's a 19th century quilt and sold for $275. The quilt on the right is a great abstract design and would be terrific art on a wall. Red works with so many colors - go all white with shots of red, or soften it with yellow. This one sold for $160. 

These last two examples are more multi-colored. They were both made in the 1930's. The one on the right sold for $125. It's not quite as 'graphic' as the other examples, but is quite pretty. The one on the right sold for $100, and has some good colors from which to build a decorating. 

Quilts are quintessentially American (while quilts are made in other countries), and can be surprisingly modern graphic art.

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