Monday, November 30, 2009

Gee's bend quilts

A while back honeypie and I visited an art museum near us that had a beautiful art exhibit of hand made quilts made by the women of the Gee's Bend Quilters Collective from the area of Rehoboth and Boykin, Alabama.
Absolutely stunning and gorgeous the quilts were!
Honeypie and I spent the day viewing and learning all about the quilts and the women who created them.
When we got home we read a children's story book called "stitching and pulling" inspired by the Gee's bend quilters and created a small quilt ourselves. Since it was our first time learning about quilting , we used felt and fabri-tac, ( a fabric glue ) to make our quilt but we will use real fabric and sew once we create our first "real" one after Christmas .

(below is a bit of information about Gee's bend and the quilters collective from their site)...

Gee’s Bend is a small rural community nestled into a curve in the Alabama River southwest of Selma, Alabama. Founded in antebellum times, it was the site of cotton plantations, primarily the lands of Joseph Gee and his relative Mark Pettway, who bought the Gee estate in 1850. After the Civil War, the freed slaves took the name Pettway, became tenant farmers for the Pettway family, and founded an all-black community nearly isolated from the surrounding world. During the Great Depression, the federal government stepped in to purchase land and homes for the community, bringing strange renown — as an "Alabama Africa" — to this sleepy hamlet.

The town’s women developed a distinctive, bold, and sophisticated quilting style based on traditional American (and African American) quilts, but with a geometric simplicity reminiscent of Amish quilts and modern art. The women of Gee’s Bend passed their skills and aesthetic down through at least six generations to the present. In 2002, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in partnership with the nonprofit Tinwood Alliance, of Atlanta, presented an exhibition of seventy quilt masterpieces from the Bend. The exhibition, entitled "The Quilts of Gee’s Bend," is accompanied by two companion books, The Quilts of Gee’s Bend, and the larger Gee’s Bend: The Women and Their Quilts, both published by Tinwood Media, as well as a documentary video on the Gee’s Bend quilters and a double-CD of Gee’s Bend gospel music from 1941 and 2002.

Throughout much of the twentieth century, making quilts was considered a domestic responsibility for women in Gee's Bend. As young girls, many of the women trained or apprenticed in their craft with their mothers, female relatives, or friends; other quilters, however, have been virtually self-taught. Women with large families often made dozens upon dozens of quilts over the course of their lives.

The women consider the process of "piecing" the quilt "top" to be highly personal. In Gee’s Bend, the top—the side that faces up on the bed—is always pieced by a quilter working alone and reflects a singular artistic vision. The subsequent process of “quilting” the quilt—sewing together the completed top, the batting (stuffing), and the back—is sometimes then performed communally, among small groups of women.

~ from

Honeypie pieces her quilt with the things she loves... Sunshine, hearts, blue for the beach and beige for sand.

We turned the quilt into a sleeping bag for her bunny and made a pillow too!

Can't wait to begin sewing our own family quilt together after the new year!

-- Post From My iPhone
^_^ birdycake on the go!

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