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 day...so 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!