Boldly Graphic: Two-Color Quilts from the Winedale Quilt Collection
The Sam Rayburn Museum presents Boldly Graphic: Two-Color Quilts from the Winedale Quilt Collection. The exhibit, free and open to the public, will run July 27 through August 4. The highly graphic two-color quilt style emerged in the 1840s after a large variety of commercially-produced cotton fabrics became affordable to middle-class households. The Winedale Quilt
American quiltmakers have long been drawn toward two-color quilts. Usually made with pieces of a single solid-color fabric sewn onto a white background, such quilts are highly graphic in nature, emphasizing pattern rather than a pleasing mix of various colors. The Briscoe Center’s Winedale Quilt Collection contains many such quilts, both pieced and appliquéd, dating from 1845. Examples also include several traditional Hawaiian quilts, which feature abstract appliquéd patterns meant to represent native plant forms. This exhibit brings these quilts together for the first time.
The highly graphic two-color quilt style began in the 1840s once a huge variety of commercially produced cotton fabrics were available and affordable to many households. Quilt historians today recognize that the two most popular color combinations were blue and white and red and white. Blue-and-white quilts flourished in the second half of the nineteenth century. Red-and-white quilts, especially popular between the 1880s and the 1920s, claim a close second in popularity.
The Winedale Quilt Collection is a scholarly resource that supports the study of quilts and their history. Its mission is to collect, preserve, and provide access to American quilts and quilt history materials documenting the role of quilts in American culture. The collection contains more than 500 quilts and spans 200 years of quiltmaking. It covers a broad range of quilts with a special emphasis on those made in Texas or brought to Texas in the nineteenth century. In 2016, the Briscoe Center worked with University of Texas Press to publish an extensive survey of the collection, Comfort and Glory by Katherine Adams, the collection’s longtime curator.