I received a most exciting email from one of my heroes--Nancy Ray! She's been collecting string quilts for 30 years, and has an amazing collection. I've been inspired by a number of her quilts in Gwen Marston's book, Liberated String Quilts. She spotted my "Spring Equinox" quilt, and wrote this lovely email with a photo of the original inspiration quilt!
Your string top, Spring Equinox is lovely, and I'm happy to see that string quilts are getting so much attention. I own the spider web quilt that is the inspiration for this top (and many others), and I've always considered this quilt to be a masterpiece. In fact, Gwen and I were disappointed that the publisher gave it such a small picture in Liberated String Quilts, but nonetheless it seems to reach out to quilters. When I think it was pieced on newspaper, long before design walls existed, I'm awed by the quilter's ability to combine so many different fabrics with such a sure hand. She really was a master.
I'm sorry I can't put my hand on a better picture of it at the moment, but I'm attaching a picture of this quilt hanging at the Vermont Quilt Festival in a special exhibit of my string quilts in 2005. I've loved string quilts since I bought the first one 30 years ago, and this one is an enduring favorite.