Four-block strips

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    Photo: Stephen Pitkin/Pitkin Studio
c. 1975
81 x 68 inches
Collection of
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco museum purchase American Art Trust Fund and gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation

In 1972 the Freedom Quilting Bee sewing collective received a large order for corduroy pillow covers from Sears, Roebuck & Co. The leftover scraps of colors, with names given by the merchant such as “avocado leaf,” “tangerine,” and “cherry red,” were eventually incorporated into quilts throughout the community, including this one. In Smith’s composition, the orientation of the green and blue corduroy stripes in each of the four quadrants creates a sense of perpetual rotating movement regardless of the quilt’s orientation. —Lauren Palmor