It is April School Vacation week, which means less time for sewing, but more time for things I might not ordinarily make time to do. Today I took my youngest daughter and a friend to the Museum of Fine Arts to see the Quilts and Color Exhibit. At age thirteen, they both have started making and designing their own quilts and patchwork pillows. It seemed like a trip two middle schoolers might actually like.
We were not disappointed. The quilts were primarily Amish and mostly from the mid 1800s and all were entirely amazing. The graphic design of these quilts was stunning. The color combinations and juxtaposition of shapes and textures rivals some of the best graphic design of today. Designers today merely have to click a mouse to bring things together. These designs were created with itty bitty scraps, snipped from worn out clothing or left-over remnants, all pieced and hand stitched together. Coordinating bolts of fabric at Jo-anns, looking at colorful swatches in a virtual shopping cart or rethreading the sewing machine began to seem like such a luxury. These designs sprung out of what was available and months and months of small hand stitches. Maybe the slower speed gave them more time to think about color and design. Maybe the lack of extra fabric and a sewing machine prompted more thoughtful decisions.
Maybe beauty is what happens when you have fewer options.