PIECE ON EARTH: ASTONISHING MULTI-PIECED AMERICAN QUILTS AT FISHER HERITAGE ARE TIMELESS WORKS OF ART

EIGHT POINT STAR, detail
EIGHT POINT STAR, detail
(Laura Fisher)
  • LOG CABIN BOWTIE VARIATION, detail

    LOG CABIN BOWTIE VARIATION, detail

    Laura Fisher

  • MOSAIC or HONEYCOMB MEDALLION, detail

    MOSAIC or HONEYCOMB MEDALLION, detail

    Laura Fisher

At the end of every year, a heartfelt wish is always devoted to Peace on Earth. As this intense year -- 2017 -- draws to a shaky close, Laura Fisher's quilting pun Piece on Earth represents a selection that celebrates the many intricate and original antique American quilts that have been preserved, and the imagination and persistence of the talented quilt makers who conceived them. Consider that this complicated handwork happened prior to computers, the internet, or high level math or engineering education was permitted to women.

Despite a history over centuries of enduring wars, economic strife, hardships and challenges while this nation grew, in every era quilt makers always challenged themselves to create intricate graphic designs using thousands of small pieces of fabric. 

Either the pieces were true scraps salvaged from clothing or home furnishings, or else fabrics were bought specifically to achieve an artistic intention. Pieces ranging from 1/2" to 1" were cut into squares, diamonds, triangles or hexagons and systematically placed, orchestrating light and dark tones to produce some mind-boggling graphic designs. 

You will find many varied examples of such accomplished quilts made during the 1800s through the 1900s at Laura Fisher’s FISHER HERITAGE , a by appointment gallery in Chelsea. To plan a visit, call 917/797-1260, or email fisherheritage@yahoo.com. And also visit the website http://www.laurafisherquilts.com to see many choices.

If pressed to name her favorite quilt designs, Fisher acknowledges that such intricately pieced compositions rate high, especially when considered in light of the accelerated pace of today's world. Patience, precision and fortitude  were required to construct and to complete such multitudinous pieced quilts, foregoing fancy needlework in favor of a sculptural approach to creating design. They invite respect and they deserve display in home, office or collection, not with the outmoded view of them as just grandmotherly nostalgia but rather as the historic works of American art they are.

Combining thousands of colorful pieces into a coherent, intricate geometric design is a technique in American quilting popularized from the early 19th century forward, influenced perhaps by the graphics of tesserrae stone mosaics in ancient cultures that date back thousands of years. Today the pixilated color squares of computer imagery generate a comparable look, as do the works of many contemporary artists like Chuck Close.

In a quilt pieced of squares or rectangles, the actual number is easy to count by multiplying the number of pieces along its length and width. But quilts that combine shapes often defy enumeration, much to every generation's awe and delight. 

Fisher’s collection includes examples that range from 1,000 pieces on up, to  superlative examples like the repeat concentric squares made with 44,370 pieces, and the military quilts on view now at NYC's American Folk Art Museum. They are a remarkable aspect of the quilt making heritage. 

Among Fisher's discoveries are:

EIGHT POINT STAR of one inch jewel tone wool squares each stuffed with cotton like a little pillow, a rare three-dimensional quilt

CONCENTRIC DIAMONDS MEDALLION WITH FOUR PATCH DIAMONDS, a unique monumental graphic imposing at a distance and compelling close up with its diverse 19th century cottons

MOSAIC or HONEYCOMB MEDALLION, richly colored  hexagons of fine wool challis prints and vivid solids, one from a collection of various mosaic patterns all pieced using one inch hexagons

LOG CABIN BOWTIE VARIATION, a rarely seen iteration in a rarely made 'pleated' construction technique where the narrow strips have raised folds giving the surface a tactile bonus

PHILADELPHIA PAVEMENT, small repeat pieced diamonds of vivid ombre'd coloration from 1930s printed and solid cottons framed in an orange color grid

FLYING GEESE CHARM QUILT, rows of earth tone 1870-80s printed cottons pointing up and down, a  delight for lovers of 19th century fabrics

PINE BURR, a distinctive composition of folded triangles placed literally row upon row for a bristly dimensional effect and a mid century modern masterpiece in fabric

FISHER HERITAGE gallery is always open on line 24/7 at laurafisherquilts.com 

with acclaimed antique quilts, hooked rugs, coverlets, braided rugs, rag carpet, textiles, American folk art and more.

Or see us in person by appointment only in Chelsea. 

Call 917/797-1260 or email fisherheritage@yahoo.com for time and location

 

 

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