By: Merikay Waldvogel
Anne Orr quilts are simply spectacular in their visual impact. Whether on a bed or hung on a museum wall, Orr quilts continue to thrill viewers. The balanced designs and the carefully selected colors make each quilt a stunning masterpiece. Anne Orr’s decision to include traditional decorative elements such as appliqué and cross-stitch style flowers in quilts meant that her quilts found a niche in sophisticated decorating schemes. Consequently, Anne Orr quilts are as pleasing in a modern bedroom of the 1990s as one in the 1930s. This is, I believe, what Anne Orr hoped for – a bed cover in “good, appropriate design” which would stand the test of time aesthetically.
When Anne Champe Orr of Nashville, Tennessee was inducted into the Quilter’s Hall of fame in 1979, the proclamation declared that “she dedicated her career to bringing needleworkers good, appropriate design, and in the process, gave many crafts-women creative employment.” In spite of her fame as a quiltmaker, she was and probably will always be better known as an art needlework designer. Her needlework style greatly influenced the innovative quilt patterns she sold through her studio located in her home in Nashville.