Quilt Notes: Nancy Cabot's sketch of BEACH AND BOATS, in black and white so starkly beautiful, from her column in the Chicago Tribune, late summer/early autumn, 1937. Here is a quilt block as minimal as a Japanese haiku or waka, expressing the tiniest image, yet epitomizing, somehow, so much greater a scene:
Yosano Akiko (1878-1942)
(trans. by Kenneth Rexroth)
Left on the beach
Full of water
A worn out boat
Reflects the white sky —
The tiling pattern is rather wild and rippling (see below), compared to the quiet simplicity of the single block, and whereby it accounts for its other name, RIBBON BORDER. Cabot says:
"BEACH AND BOATS is another old block which was pieced years and years ago. The blocks were set together in an all-over design which creates a veritable stretch of beach sprinkled with gayly colored boats riding at anchor. It was the custom, years ago, to use dark silk print material against a plain background."
For the V-Shape, compare with LEFT AND RIGHT and SHIFTING CUBES, also SYMMETRY IN MOTION and V-BLOCK.