Rainbow color bar

Sweet Baby James

33" x 27"

2003

Sweet Baby James Quilt

Three themes contribute to this design. The first is that it is an idealized, quintessential mountain landscape, as are many paintings of the Group of Seven Canadian landscape painters.

The second is the watercolor technique: using fabrics like paint, to create tones, textures and shadings. When I was designing the quilt, I was frustrated because I never had enough fabrics--I always wanted smoother transitions from one color to another. Now that it is done, however, I appreciate the freeness that has resulted from this limitation. The checkerboard sky and pieced border remind us that this is a real quilt, not an imitation painting.

The third, of course, is the song.

Goodnight you moonlight ladies,
Rock-a-bye Sweet Baby James,
Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose,
Won't you let me go down in my dreams,
And rock-a-bye Sweet Baby James.

— James Taylor

Exhibited in the juried show A Garden State, Quilt Fest of New Jersey, Somerset, NJ, March 2005.


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