I don’t think it’s an official astrological sign (although perhaps nicer to be born in the year of the quilt than, say, the rat), but it really is a lucky year. The American Museum of Folk Art in New York City is displaying highlights from its amazing collection of American quilts. Now until October 2011 you can see Masterworks, which indeed they are. If you ever wondered what makes Amish quilts so special–besides their bold graphic designs and rich palette–stand up close and marvel at the tiny(!) perfect stitches. To the amateur quilter (me) it might be worth remembering that these are museum pieces, lest you get disheartened, but there is much to inspire. Hands down, my favorite is the slashed star quilt. Its cranberry, gold, and teal stars on white are a geometric wonder, and the design is complex without being fussy. The site has a slide show of the quilts if you can’t get to NYC.