War and Pieced
June 23, 2018 4:42 AM   Subscribe

The Annette Gero Collection of Quilts from Military Fabrics, currently on display at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, contains intricate and complex geometric quilts (Vimeo) made exclusively by men using richly dyed wools derived from British military and dress uniforms. Once termed “soldiers’ quilts” or “convalescent quilts,” the pieced textiles are most closely associated with the Crimean War as well as conflicts in India, South Africa, and other troubled regions of the British Empire during the nineteenth century. posted by carter (8 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
These are so great! In fact, I was just reading about it the other day, so I'll toss another link on the pile: in Atlas Obscura, "The Dazzling Quilts of 19th-Century British Soldiers Are Threaded With Mystery" discusses some of the puzzling aspects of these quilts (for example, that the lore is that the material often comes from the uniforms of fallen comrades, yet they haven't found traces of blood, oil, or gunpowder; that some of the construction relies on special tools that only professional tailors might have, etc.).
posted by taz at 5:52 AM on June 23, 2018 [3 favorites]

So beautiful. I love the redemptive act the curator mentions.
posted by Bear at 6:13 AM on June 23, 2018

taz, for some reason your link isn't working. This works: https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/soldiers-military-quilts-crimea

Wonderful quilts!
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 6:21 AM on June 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thanks for sharing.

Every time I walk into a museum with an exhibit of quilts, I surprise myself with how much time I spend looking at them.
posted by crush at 6:38 AM on June 23, 2018

My mom is an avid lifelong quilter, and I can’t wait to share and discuss these links with her. Thanks, carter!
posted by brand-gnu at 7:34 AM on June 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Very cool. The quilts are beautiful.

I was surprised that the Crimean Quilts all seemed to have been done using a version of English Paper Piecing -- although since the quilters were apparently British soldiers, that that would be the quilting technique used makes perfect sense in retrospect!
posted by rue72 at 7:57 AM on June 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

posted by jacquilynne at 12:31 PM on June 23, 2018

Oh, neat. Those are some amazing works of art, and what an interesting history.
posted by mixedmetaphors at 4:20 PM on June 24, 2018

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