Gay McGeary – A Gallery of Stars Shining into the Woods

I see each coverlet as a work of art, a living statement from the past, an embodiment of color, design, and texture, inviting one into the mind of the artisan who created it. Often more than a single mind is at work, as a pattern is repeated with individual variations, like a piece of music played over by different musicians, frozen to the eye forever more, each thread a note in the composition. The delight of the modern scholar-weaver lies in the understanding of technique, the mathematical precision of it, the mastery of materials required for the final work.

My design process for this piece started with a draft from a Pennsylvania German manuscript and my analysis of a matching star coverlet. Using weaving software, I designed this coverlet with larger star and trees. To make the design more linear, I chose single-shaft tie-down treadling. I designed and wove a separate fringe which was sewn onto the three sides of the coverlet.

Structural notes: The design is based on my interpretation of a draft from the 19th century Benjamin Delong manuscript. I enlarged the star motif and designed a tree border. The fringe was woven separately.

Dimensions: 48 x 61 inches (122 x 155 cm)

Materials: 8/2, 12/2, & 16/2 unmercerized cotton;
Single ply sports wool, Briggs & Little

Loom: Body of coverlet woven on a 24-shaft computer-assisted Toika loom; fringe woven on a 4-shaft Clement loom

  • Gay McGeary