Saturday, November 07, 2009

more swedish quilts

it's a lazy saturday afternoon and i thought i'd share a bit more from the fantastic swedish quilt book, gamla svenska lapptäcken  i bought earlier in the week. i've had a chance to read a bit more of it (tho' by no means all). it was published in 1993 as part of an exhibition of quilts that made the rounds in sweden and also in paris. it was written by åsa wettre, and she clearly knew her quilts. she discusses quilting traditions in sweden and says that many quilt designs were brought back home to sweden by people who temporarily immigrated to america in the 1800s. which explains why there are so many log cabin designs, which i always think of as somehow very american. in swedish, the log cabin quilt design is called stockhustäcke, which i somehow find very charming. there are a number of beautiful log cabin examples in the book:



i really love the play with light and dark values in these.





and even this one is a variation on a log cabin:


there are stories of quilters and quilts throughout the book. my favorite is an interview with an old man who had gone sailing with the merchant navy from the age of 14 and didn't really go back home for 18 years. he talked about how they made quilts by hand on deck in their spare time. they were taught by an older boatsman and they did it both to pass the time and to be sure they had a warm blanket in their bunks onboard. there were no pictures to go with that story, but i love the story just the same. it gives another perspective on sailors that i'll admit i wouldn't have thought of myself.

i'll share one last quilt from the book (for today), because it reminds me so much of the beautiful quilts of gee's bend:



and now, i think i'll go. all of this inspiration has me feeling decidedly like sewing something.

10 comments:

Char said...

you know that gee's bend is in Alabama right? those ladies now get over $2k for their quilts. i've met several of them and visited. it's in a very poverty stricken area and it's amazing they have gotten the attention (rightfully deserved) they have. they do beautiful work.

Cyndy said...

I love quilts! For their design, the work that goes into them, the history. I am fortunate to live in quilt country where they are very prevalent, new and old alike.

I have two quilts that look like the first two you have listed. One is made from men's suits ~ wool ~ a bit itchy on one side ~ warm. I wonder now if the quilter had a Swedish background (the PA dutch quilts which are different in style ~ hearts, rings, bright colors). The pattern is what attracted me from the beginning. Being from men's clothing made it even more interesting. With a house full of men, I was excited to find a quilt fit a man.

The last quilt you show is a lot like the crazy quilts here, although many are made with velvet pieces missed with cotton. Like a quilt you posted the other day, many have names or sayings embroidered in them, creating its signature in history and time.

Thank you for sharing and for sparking a moment to reflect. I will have to share my quilting stories with you someday, which ironically come from someone who doesn't sew...

Cyndy said...

correction: that is "velvet pieces mixed with cotton"

Suecae Sounds said...

I especially like the last one. It looks like quilt_going_modernist_art.

Elizabeth said...

Drool, drool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kamana said...

together with coobooks, i love drooling on these craftwork books. such great work!

Joanna Jenkins said...

That is a fabulous book. I've always been drawn to quilts-- There colors and patterns are so wonderful. Five years ago a made a zigzag log cabin quilt. It took me a full year but I loved doing it.
Thanks for sharing.
xo

hasior said...

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kristina said...

what a beautiful book! and I think you'll be fluent in Swedish soon :-)

Maria said...

Vad vackert!