Aptly named, the book Unconventional & Unexpected features some 150 20th century quilts from the collection of renowned author, Robert Kiracofe. These are quilts that break the ‘rules’; they are neither perfect nor made out of the best materials, and their makers have not followed tightly structured patterns. Despite having been put together with seemingly disparate scraps of fabric, the quilts, almost without exception, demonstrate their makers’ sense of design. The quilts are unusual, quirky even with their off-beat patterns, but therein lies their joy. These everyday, utility quilts, and indeed this period in quilt history, have until now been a much less researched part of the American quilt story. In building his collection Kiracofe has used his personal aesthetic, responding to quilts intuitively. The time frame, the second half of the 20th century, has not been strictly adhered to; for as Kiracofe states, if he found an earlier quilt that also pushed boundaries, he included it. Beautifully photographed, the pages of this book abound with images of brightly patterned quilts made with irregular piecing, that have unlikely colour and pattern juxtapositions, and quilting or coloured ties that meander or march over their surfaces. Where the backs of the quilts are equally interesting, these, too, have been shown... This is an extract from Dr Sue Marks' book review of Robert Kiracofe's Unconventional & Unexpected: American Quilts Below the Radar 1950-2000 in the Southern issue of Selvedge, which also includes colourful quilts as part of Colonial Williamsburg's A Century of African-American Quilts exhibition until May 2018.
WIN TICKETS TO THE FESTIVAL OF QUILTS We have 10 pairs of tickets on offer for the Festival of Quilts, click here for the chance to visit with a friend and see over 300 exhibitors from around the world, including Selvedge.The Festival of Quilts 11th - 14th August Halls 7, 8 & 9 | NEC, Birmingham, England