Bars and strips

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    Photo: Stephen Pitkin/Pitkin Studio
1929
Cotton, denim, muslin
87 x 73 inches

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Geometry is the heart of block patchwork, which has been used to some extent throughout the history of pieced quilts.

Geometry is the heart of block patchwork, which has been used to some extent throughout the history of pieced quilts. Block piecing in the form that we recognize today is widely supposed to have originated with European settlers and their descendants. The quilts pieced in Europe, particularly in Britain during the migration to the United States that began in the seventeenth century and continued after the American Revolution, were seldom made from blocks as we know them today. If the quilts were pieced, they were mainly one-patch or mosaic designs, or they were medallion quilts. The medallion quilts are also called frame quilts because they consist of a large central medallion that was bounded by a series of pieced or plain borders. Amelia Bennett's denim “Bars” medallion follows in that tradition. —Maggi McCormick Gordon