Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Quilts and Color at the MFA

It feels like quilts are everywhere these days...  I was so excited to be invited to preview the Quilts and Color exhibit at the MFA yesterday.  Not only did I get to see these stunning quilts in person but I got to hear many of the stories behind them directly from the collector, Gerald Roy.

Gerry and his partner Paul Pilgrim amassed more than 1,200 quilts in the last 50 years.  Somehow from these they were able to whittle down the exhibit to 60 of the most exceptional and unique.  The quilts chosen represent the best uses of color and were then arranged to illustrate various lessons in color/design theory.  Each section also features a piece of abstract art that illustrates the same principal.

Obviously, I was drawn to this fairly traditional quilt for it's pink and green color scheme.  Made in the 1890s it illustrates how complementary colors appear to vibrate.

But many of the quilts on display clearly illustrate the roots of today's modern quilting movement.  Lose the borders and this scrappy triangle (Thousand Pyramids) quilt from the 1920s could have been one of the many triangle quilts being worked on at the last Boston MQG retreat.

And thanks to the EconomyBlockAlong made popular by Red Pepper Quilts and I'm a Ginger Monkey this quilt from 1870 could just as believably have been made today.

My favorite of all the quilts is this Field of Diamonds quilt from 1860.  Even if I didn't appreciate the effort involved in piecing all of these tiny hexagons, the optical illusion and secondary patterns would keep me fascinated.

At the same time the To Boston With Love flags have been rehung so you have double the reasons to visit in April:-)  A huge thank you to Jennifer, Amelia, and the rest of the MFA staff involved with this fabulous exhibit for granting me a sneak peek and some behind the scenes insights into this not to be missed quilt extravaganza!!!


  1. Oh my!! Thanks so much for sharing this! I am planning a field trip into Boston right now!

  2. This exhibit looks amazing! I can't wait to take the trip to see it!

  3. Wonder if I can use this as an excuse to go east for a few days. Looks so intriguing.

  4. Looks like a great exhibit. I'm hoping to visit in the next few weeks. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I can't wait to see this! I already have an afternoon booked with my mom and sisters. It looks so inspiring. Lucky you to get a preview!

  6. Thanks for the preview - after all those triangles and economy blocks at retreat, it really makes you realize how timeless this all is!