Saturday, August 21, 2010

Gee's Bend Quilts in London, Ontario!

Last week I attended the Quilts of Gee's Bend show at the London Convention Centre. It was awesome! At first I was a little shocked, it didn't seem like there were a lot of quilts for my $9 entry fee. But I knew about these quilts, I knew there was more to them then that, I just had to find it. Unfortunately there were no descriptions on the quilts, telling you who made them and what their stories were...that didn't help. In my second round of viewing the quilts I noticed a trio of ladies sitting behind a table hand sewing blocks.

On the table were small wall hangings for sale....I asked them if it was alright to take photos and they said sure it was, and that started the conversation. My friend Chantal came over and wanted to see what they were working on and that got them more animated. China got up and showed me her quilts that were hanging up and I was even allowed to take this photo in front of my favourite of her quits.

Then Chantal came over with her copy of Architect of the Quilt Book and asked the ladies to sign it. I noticed the dwindling pile of books and thought its now or never, I should pick up one and have it signed. so I did! and I am so glad I did, I picked up The Quilts of Gee's Bend (the other was sold out) I have been reading this book every day, it is awesome!

What a story, what living history! Bev at the Cotton By Post booth and Chantal said that you really have to go to the lecture, but I missed the lecture that Chantal and I agreed to go on Thursday for the lecture. Boy, am I glad I went! What a story. The lecture started with China singing a gospel tune and then Matt Arnett telling us the history of the quilts and then China talking about what it was like to live in Gee's Bend. Fascinating!

The label on this quilt says Faded Glory Jeans, an apt name for this quilt!

It puts all those quilts into perspective, it gives you the story, the culture, and the art of Gee's Bend. If you did not go to the lecture you really missed half the show. My only regret is that I was unable to return to do the workshop too. Matt mentioned that they are hoping to do a showing at the AGO in Toronto, some time in the future...I am hoping that they do, because I will go again!

I love the blue, red and beige in this house top variations quilt.

I fell in love with the corduroy quilts, the colours were so strong!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Woo Hoo! Another project done!

Just finished my floor scrap quilt from Gwen Marston's Beaver Island Quilt Retreat 2009! On the last day of the retreat Gwen encourages us to search the floor for scraps and create something from it. It's a lot of fun! and inside this piece are a lot of memories...I can remember other participants by their fabric! I really like this one way more than my 2008 one...this one almost has a story to tell. At first I think of the song "Sunshine, Lolipops, and Rainbows", but then I think that the purple "lolipop" is Gwen, our mentor, and the other smaller "lolipops" are her devoted students, the crazy background is the place where creativity comes from. kinda corny, I know, but it reminds me of a happy place!
This piece measures 12x 14.5 inches on the longest sides and is hand quilted with black thread.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Remember the Row Robin?

Well we finally received out rows from the other participants in May....and they have been up on my "design wall" since then. But finally I just bit the bullet and said "let's get this thing done!" For the longest time I thought I was going to applique some stems and leaves on those giant lilies, but could not get it to look I made up some more 4 patch borders and rearranged the order. I think with some clever machine stitching I could zip it up a notch.

I will probably make some yo-yo centres for the pairs of flowers and embroider some tea pouring out of the spout....maybe an applique butterfly or two with the baskets...I think I will call it Garden Tea Party.