peace quilt, 1978

A particularly mysterious quilt in the collection.

You can read more about it here.

Sibley Mills denim and polyester fan quilt, georgia c. 1970

Denim is actually the back of this quilt. The front is an improvised motif of highly colorful, polyester and other dress print fans.  The quilt came from the Harrisburg neighborhood of Augusta, Georgia, a few blocks from the historic Sibley Mill. The mill began production in 1880 and continued until 2006, making denim.  I purchased this quilt from Siobhan Furgurson, who lived in the area and found it at an estate sale of the Lewis family. Siobhan met some of the family members, including a former worker at the mill who said his wife and her sister were always asking him to “bring home scraps and if they didn’t use them they traded them with women at church.” Siobhan speculated that through those trades they may have acquired the polyester used on the front:


Sibley Mill is currently being converted into a computer farm, or cyber village. There’s a fair amount about the Mill online, including Facebook. On one Facebook page dedicated to the Mill is an album of slides showing operations of the mill in the 1970s. The photos are excellent. Here are a few I find particularly compelling:

Posted by David Lindsey on Monday, June 29, 2015

Posted by David Lindsey on Monday, June 29, 2015

Posted by David Lindsey on Monday, June 29, 2015


Clovis Patchwork, c. 1970

This striking patchwork quilt comes from eastern New Mexico, a town called Clovis. The top is full of rich earth colored polyesters. The orange back is cotton polyester blend.

Humpty Dumpty c. 1970

I’d say about a third of my quilt collection is circa 1970, probably about 70 quilts in all. It’s a diverse collection–landscapes, appliqué samplers, rustic denim,  polyester geometries, improvisational patchworks, and children’s quilts. The children’s quilts often really get me. Maybe because I was a child in the 70s. Here’s one small scale, or child’s quilt, of Humpty Dumpty.  Is Humpty Dumpty still as popular today as he was in the 1970s?

Psychedelic mushroom quilt, c. 1970

This is a small-scale quilt, meant to hang on the wall.  I consider this piece an early example of psychedelic art, which developed in the late 1960s/1970s.

The quilter’s colors, fabric choices, and motifs–paisley sky, bright rainbow, happy flowers and floating fluffy clouds–evoke the counter culture art and vibe of the period.

Mushrooms are a common theme found in crewel/needlework or ceramic art of the 70s, and they are also often found in fabric prints.

But while there were a lot of quilt patterns published in magazines of the era that were whimsical, depicting landscapes with suns, mountains and rainbows, I’ve yet to see one that centered this floating variety of psilocybin mushroom. For this reason, I believe this is an original design (please point me to other examples, if you have them. I’d love to see them).

The quilter intentionally placed the mushrooms as the focal point, as though to say, “these are important”. Much like this cover of an 1968 underground magazine, the International Times, that centers an amanita mushroom: