CENTER DIAMOND (IQSCM)
by Mattie King Stolzfus
Amish (ca. 1915-1935)
Maggie Malone has this design listed as FANCY STRIPE (#1237) in her 1001 PATCHWORK DESIGNS (1982), a seeming misnomer for such a straight-forward pattern (see upper left). In print it was first introduced into quiltdom as MOSAIC #1, in the late 19th century Ladies Art Company Catalogue #329 (Brackman #2469, and Beyer p.58-12). |
Nancy Cabot also illustrated the block as MOSAIC #3 (Chicago Tribune, 1934), but these mosaic names have no real identity. FANCY STRIPE might be interpreted in this case as ultimate simplicity, in accord if not part of the Amish tradition. The new title is similar to OLD CROW, which also began as nothing more than a '"mosaic" number. FANCY STRIPE is truly a very beautiful name for this pattern — ironically because its purely elemental structure is so antithetical to the title, and it therefore evokes a powerful, enigmatic beauty, although the addition of an actual fancy stripe (upper right) surely works well enough. It pieces from the inside out, see ANIMATION.
The palette for this version of FANCY STRIPE was inspired by the Amish whole top design, CENTER DIAMOND, illustrated left from the IQSCM. The following reflection on traditional Amish color combinations is quoted from AMISH ABSTRACTIONS by Joe Cunningham, et al, (2009):
"At first glance, Amish quilts may appear curiously similar to works by the great abstract artists of the twentieth century. [...] Closer examination reveals that the principles of the Amish faith — simplicity, humility, discipline, and community — are masterfully stitched into each design. Colorful and dynamic, the remarkable quilts radiate the harmony and dignity of Amish life while providing a window onto the history of American art and textile traditions."