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Not Your Grandma’s Quilt–Quilts as Art

Welcome to The Writer’s Block Quilts and More series. I hope everyone has been enjoying this series. I know I am.

Today I’m not going to talk about one of my quilts, but a quilt that I had the privilege of photographing and writing about when I was writing for the local newspaper in the 1990s.

This beautiful piece “Ukranian Dance” is art disguised as a quilt.

Ukranian Dance

Ukrainian artists Iren and Oleg Kirilenko, who had been introduced to quilting by a member of the Ohio Valley Quilter’s club, made the quilt pictured above. Until the visit of the Ohio Valley Quilters member, the couple had not seen a quilt. Once Iren learned about quilting she was very interested in quilting as an art form. Using fabric donated by the American guild and a few solid colored European fabrics, the Kirilenkos began fashioning quilts.  “Ukranian Dance” was their second quilt.

Not only does this quilt look different than your grandmother’s patchwork quilt, it’s constructed without applique or piecing.  The Kirilenkos started in the center of the quilt, overlapping the edges of the fabric in a technique they called “fish scale.”

I was there when the quilt was unveiled at the home of one of the Ohio Valley guild members, and I still remember the gasp from the ladies assembled there. Mine included. At the time I had never seen a quilt as art. Even today, I have to say I haven’t seen an art quilt that matches this one. I wish you all could see in up close and personal, because the quilt is absolutely breathtaking!

Have you ever seen an art quilt that took your breath away?


CT Bio 8x11

Catherine Castle has had a love affair with quilts since she was young and watched her mother hand-piece squares of fabric into fascinating designs. While she loves to quilt, she has more UFOs (unfinished object) quilt tops than she has completed projects. Still she keeps buying more material and starting more projects. Someday, she’ll get them all finished. When she’s not stitching UFO quilts or gardening–two of her favorite pastimes, she writes inspirational and sweet romance. You can learn more about her and her award-winning book right here on this website or her Amazon page.