Sunday, July 4, 2010

Two Patriotic Quilts

OQP # 2010-01-002 - “My American Log Cabin” by Sally Powers Rogers 

Two patriotic quilts made a huge impression on me during our first documentation day on April 28th in Sisters, Oregon. Both quilts were made by Sally Powers Rogers of Redmond, and both took classic patterns to a whole new level. 

The first quilt was called “My American Log Cabin” (pictured above) and was machine pieced during “Desert Storm” in 1991 in Tacoma, Wash., and hand quilted in Redmond during the 2003 Iraqi War. I was immediately struck by how well made and sturdy the quilt was. It was perfectly square, had a nice weight, and included a wonderful selection of fabrics in patriotic red, white, and blue. Rogers’ artistry and sense of purpose made a well-known pattern something completely new.

OQP # 2010-01-003 - “Patriotic Nine-Patch” by Sally Powers Rogers

The second quilt (above) was called “Patriotic 9-Patch” and included birthday blocks from the Ridge Rippers Quilters. It was machine pieced, strippy, a la Kaye England, and hand quilted with wool batt. Rogers made the quilt for her father on his 100th birthday, June 21st, 2005, and the array of patriotic fabrics was simply unbelievable! This quilt transported me to the 19th century, and made me feel like I was looking at a very old quilt the day it was finished. It was fantastic! 

OQP # 2010-01-003 - “Patriotic Nine-Patch” by Sally Powers Rogers (detail)
We don’t always think of recently made quilts as historic objects, but these quilts truly captured history. Both arrived for documentation as cherished family objects in perfect condition, and both were eloquent, concise statements about the era. The last two decades were a time of incredible change - a time when people of the United States felt and expressed patriotism in the face of many great challenges. The two quilts from Sally Powers Rogers are strong visual and cultural statements. They celebrate freedom, paying tribute to the past, saluting the present, and looking optimistically toward the future.

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