JENNIFER SWOPE: I love this quilt. In particular, I love how initially it seems so random, and then we really start looking, you can see these wonderful diagonal patterns that emerge. And the first thing that I noticed was, oh, these bright pink snails’ trails at the top and the bottom, because they call your attention to those motifs, because they’re so much lighter than the rest of the pieces in the quilt.
But then, as you look at it more carefully, these wonderful diagonals with the purple snails’ trails start to emerge, and these interesting browns and reds of snails’ trails, which are also set at a diagonal, start to emerge. And it has this wonderful rhythm because the pinks are so prominent and go forward, and these wonderful dark colors in the background start to move up as you pay more attention.
The snails’ trail pattern is really interesting because they’re actually using geometric pieces of fabric to create curved forms. And that, those wonderful interlocking curves contrast with the rectilinear borders. The rectilinear borders in this case are this wonderful inner purple border and a wide red border and then just this very thin, very artfully done thin, purple border on the outside, as if to sort of punctuate this whole composition.
Amish quilters, and all quilters that are represented in this exhibit, were making really deliberate decisions. So whenever you’re going through looking at these, what initially seems random or haphazard actually has this wonderful purpose to it, when you really start to look.