The Tiptree Quilt is based on James Tiptree, Jr.’s science fiction novel, Brightness Falls from the Air. In this story, humans and aliens witness the spectacular passing of a fiery wave-front, and the incineration of the planet Damien, caused by the nova of The Murdered Star.
In 2014, for the World Science Fiction Convention in London, Jeanne Gomoll designed a visual history of the quilt, with detailed descriptions and archival photographs. After the convention, she converted this exhibition into a 28-page record-album-size book, detailing the history of the quilt, is on sale here. This is not only a fascinating story of an important chapter in the history of the award, it is also an unparalleled resource for people interested in contemporary crafts.
Exactly 1,248 squares of fabric were used to construct this 100″ x 121″ textile painting of this fantastic scene. Except for two small pieces, the swirling image is constructed with only straight-cut pieces. If you look closely you can see female signs in the planet below. Work spanned ten years and the combined effort of 65 people from around the world, many of whom had never quilted before. Elspeth (“Elk”) Krisor (1956-2013) directed and coordinated work on the quilt; Jeanne Gomoll and Tracy Benton designed it.
The Quilt’s Home
In 2014, the quilt traveled to London, England as part of a Tiptree Award display in honor of Jeanne Gomoll, one of the guests of honor at the 2014 World Science Fiction Convention. After that, it was sent to its permanent home, the feminist science fiction collection at the University of Oregon at Eugene.
The Tiptree Quilt Story
A James Tiptree, Jr. Quilt poster (pictured at the top of this page), produced with Giclée printing technology, was sold by the Award until the print run sold out.