Fun Mid-Century Finds: The Best Atomic Mod Quilt EVER

photos and text by Lynne Rostochil

If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m a big collector of just about anything mid-century modern.  My husband doesn’t mind my collecting mania too much because, after he put the kabash on me bringing one more big mid-century lamp into the house about 10 years ago, I promised to scale down my obsessions to things that take up only small amounts of space.  So, he’s happy that our house isn’t something out of “Hoarders” and I’m happy that I still get to indulge my collecting urges.

One of my lifelong collecting obsessions that goes even further back than my lamp period or my old TV collecting frenzy is vintage barkcloth.  How I love its yummy nubbiness and swoon over the many designs containing vibrant colors and crazy geometric shapes that celebrate everything atomic modern.  While I have collected lots of barkcloth over the years, perhaps my very favorite textile find is a fantastic patchwork quilt I bought on eBay back when you still could get mid-century anything for just a few dollars — that’s certainly not the case now, no way.

Here it is — ta da!



So, you’re thinking that this doesn’t look like much from the long-view photo above, right?  Well, just wait.  The quilt has different designs on both sides and contains some jaw dropping patterns I’ve never, ever seen before, and that’s saying something considering that I cockily thought I had seen them all until this baby arrived on my doorstep.  Have a look and prepare to be amazed:




Here’s a detail of those great fish.  Wowza!


But wait, there’s more — so much more:




And another detail shot:


I love this little fragment of Salvador Dali’s mesmerizing “Dancing Leaves” pattern:


And how about this fabulous textile with the robin’s eggs precariously perched in their nest in a leafless, scraggly-branched tree.  I’ve certainly never seen this pattern anywhere else:


What a great design.  But so is this one that looks like a drunk person’s chaotic version of an iconic Mondrain pattern:


We’re not finished yet — have a look at these beauties:




Finally, let’s end with one of the best atomic patterns I ever seen any time, anywhere:


I wish I had a huge piece of this fabric and not just the little swatch that’s part of this quilt.  I would hang it as curtains in every room of my house!  So, I guess that means I get to continue my barkcloth obsession until I find it … and it may be a very long hunt, indeed.  Oh darn.

Robyn is also a barkcloth lover, and I’ll be posting more of our collections in an upcoming blog.  In the meantime, if you have a mid-century collection you’d like to share with your fellow Squadders, just contact me on Facebook and we’ll discuss!