Inner City by Jinny Beyer, 1980
This month's featured Past Perfect quilter is Jinny Beyer who has been providing inspiration for quilters for over forty years.
Inner City is my favorite Jinny Beyer quilt. I can
recall when I first saw it.
Uh Oh! Brand new stash necessary!
If you weren't quilting forty years ago
you won't know of the changes she wrought.
Jinny won first prize of $2,500 in a 1978 contest
sponsored by Good Housekeeping magazine.
Her quilt "Ray of Light" stood way above the other nearly 10,000 entries.
Good Housekeeping Contest
Ray of Light, Jinny Beyer, 1978
To illustrate my point: Two representative quilts from the period:
Muncie Quilt Guild, fundraiser for the Childen's Museum
Early 1980s, Indiana Project & the Quilt Index.
Mary Schafer also won a prize in 1978 with her Dutchman's Puzzle.
Jinny taught us to see quilt design, fabric and color in a new way
Jinny Beyer, Sunflower, 1974
Or rather in an old way.
Medallion Quilt by
Sophonisba Angusciola Peale Sellers (1786 - 1859)
About 1830. Collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Jinny, from Virginia, had lived in India, where she began a hexagon quilt using scraps of Indian fabric. This accident of geography echoed the scrapbag of early American quiltmakers who used traditional Indian calicoes and European prints copied from Indian calicoes.
Hexagon quilt dated 1825 of Indian prints
We can also guess that Virginia with its history of medallion quilts had some influence on her ideas.
Quilt by Jane Gatewood, dated 1795, Virginia.
West Virginia Project & the Quilt Index
Blue Star Sapphire by Jinny Beyer, 1983
She showed us how to look at composition large scale and small.
Each piece is carefully cut to focus on layers of design---
Another antiquated idea that she revived.
Here's Sophonisba's center star with stripes and florals carefully cut
(but not as carefully as Jinny would do it.)
See more of Sophonisba's quilt here:
Jinny wrote books, chose patterns that would be enhanced by fussy cutting...
Showed us how to do it,
And designed prints to cut up.
Ode to Vasarely by Jinny Beyer, 1985
Mitered borders like an ornate picture frame---a radical idea
at the time.
She's still showing us how to do it well.
Lotus by Jinny Beyer, 2014
See what she's up to today at her blog:
Free patterns every month
Her website is full of Jinny Beyer style.
Read a 1981 article about her in Mother Earth News.https://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-and-environment/jinny-beyer-master-quilter-zmaz81ndzraw