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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Frolic!

"Wild By Design" is a catalog of 48 quilts from the International Quilt Study Center at the University of Nebraska. (www.quiltstudy.org) The selected works range from the 1820's to the 1990's. They are spectacular and inspiring.

In the introductory essay, art historian and quiltmaker Janet Catherine Berlo writes, "In the early 19th century, 'quilting frolic' was the name for the communal efforts that later came to be called quilting bees....'bee' was reserved for more mundane tasks, such as the corn husking bee or the fruit paring bee. Frolic, in contrast, suggess the excitement and high spirits present in a gathering of friends and artistic peers. The quilt frolic was the female equivalent of the art academy and salon....Women brought their pieced tops to be assembled and hand quilted. These would then be admired, discussed, and used as creative fodder for the next quilts to be made within a community of intimates."

I think we should all campaign to make "quilt frolic" part of our vocabulary -- and to practice frequent frolicking!

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