This lovely strip-pieced quilt is made up of 64 blocks of shifting color and pattern that create an interlocking overall composition that is far more than the sum of its parts. At the time he made this quilt, Michael James was pushing hard against the grid structure of traditional piecework, and the wide range of light and dark colored stripes set a complex group of rhythms in play against the eight-over-eight geometry that underlies the quilt's design. The quilt's wide range of rich, carefully graduated color and tone and combination of solid-colored and printed fabrics keep the viewer's eye in constant motion, providing an endlessly delightful play of light and dark visual yin-yang.
Michael James has long been recognized as one of the world's leading quiltmakers. Examples of his work are included in numerous private and corporate collections as well the collections of the Newark Museum, the Museum of Arts & Design in New York, the Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art (Smithsonian Institution) in Washington, D.C., the Mint Museum of Craft + Design in Charlotte, North Carolina, the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky, and the International Quilt Study Center and Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Michael James' early quilts are tightly held in public and private collections and very rarely come into the marketplace. This piece was in a private collection from 1988 until its original owner's recent death. This is a highly unusual opportunity.
The quilt is in perfect and totally original condition. It has a hanging sleeve attached to its back and is ready to be displayed and enjoyed.
View a unique early appliqué quilt by Michael James
Detail of back
Detail of signature