Monday, March 29, 2010

Gee's Bend Inspired

Several years ago, I checked out a book from the library called, Quilts of Gee's Bend.  It was a very interesting read.  Well surfing the web,  I had noticed a renewed interest.  This inspired me to borrow the book from the library again and make my own Gee's Bend inspired quilt.

So, off I went to root around in my fabric bins.  I had spring on the brain, at the time, and decided I would name my quilt Waiting for Spring.  After selecting fabric, I sat down with the Gee's Bend book to study the quilts.  One quilt that caught my eye was by Annie Mae Young (born 1928) called Center medallion strips with multiple borders.  Circa 1965.   This was all the inspiration I needed to get me started.


Waiting for Spring

As I pieced together my version of a center medallion strips, I noticed in the book that many of the Gee's Bend quilts looked a little wonky.  You know what I mean, the pieces not appearing straight?  I may be wrong, but I think over time and because of the different weights and types of fabric, they used, the quilts have pulled out of shape.   So, I went with straight cuts of fabric and colours that felt spring like.

I liked the way Missouri Pettway from Gee's Bend quilted one of her quilts, in 1942 and decided to try it on mine.  What I did was stitch a series of soft, natural flowing lines, on an angle across the quilt.  Without question, mine is a little wilder then Missouri's. 


I prefer to quilt by hand and am not really a big fan of the sewing machine.  But, every now and then, as I walk past my sewing machine it asks me, why did you buy me?  So, every now and then, I feel I must use it.  Waiting for Spring was all machine made and I even got myself out of the ditch and did what I call, free motion with walking foot.  I also tried a new batting by Eco Craft, called Eco-Friendly Batting Blend.  This is a 50/50 blend of cotton and corn-based synthetic fiber (PLA), that looks and feels like a polyester/cotton blend. It stitched up nicely and wasn't too puffy.  

Waiting for Spring was a new adventure for me and I liked it!

Until next time.....happy quilting!

Karen

26 comments:

Janet said...

What a great idea!I love your quilt and the inspiration behind it. I really like the "free motion" quilting you did. It really adds to the piece. And I am sooooooooo ready for Spring, so I love the colors.

Vivian said...

What a great adventure --making the quilt because of inspiration from the book. I think your fabric selection and arrangement is wonderful! What's the finished size?

Robin said...

I love this quilt! It turned out beautifully. I especially love the quilting... like a soft spring breeze. I'm definitely going to have to take a look at that book, too. Sounds like there is some wonderful inspiration in there.

Sue-Anne said...

A lady at quilt group was lucky to be in America when the Gee's Bend quilts were displayed and she gave a slideshow talk to us when she returned home. I instantly fell in love with the quilts and their history. What a beautiful quilt Karen and a real tribute to those wonderful women who have become artists in their own right

Fleurette said...

I love everything about this quilt, it's just sooo beautiful, great job with the quilting too.

Ethne said...

What a lovely quilt - simple but effective
WOW you list at the side is growing and growing - I dread to go through all my WIP's and list them all, but I just might have to then sort them out and decide what's for the finish project pile and what's to be passed onto a new avid crafter

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Looks great..I love how you have quilted it!

Terry said...

It's lovely, and well done on the machine quilting! I'll have to try that on my next one! :0)

Crispy said...

A sweet quilt Karen, I'm impressed with the machine quilting, it flows very nicely :0)

Crispy

Teresa said...

Nice Gee's bend inspired project...I've also enjoyed watching the progress on your spools. I will jump in and make some when my bride is finished.

Deb said...

I've seen a lot of renewed interest in these quilts lately and the history behind them. You're came out beautifully!

Carrie P. said...

Perfect for spring and you did a great job on the quilting. Your machine felt very appreciative I am sure. lol

barbarachaineyquilts said...

Terrific quilt - it works really well from the colour balance to the expressive machine quilting. You should be very pleased with yourself.

jenbenbry said...

It's beautiful! The colors really blend together and evoke the feeling of spring! I also really like how the waves contrast with the straight lines in the quilt!

Lizzie said...

Lovely little quilt Karen, nice colours and a great bit of machine quilting. Machine quilting and I are not good friends either! Maybe one day...
Lizzie
xxx

Connie W said...

So clever and so fun, wow. :)

Valentina said...

Fantastic! wow, And I really like the quilting!!!
Got my hexies ready for tomorrow!
:)

Funoldhag said...

What a great little quilt, Karen. It does look like spring. Nice job with your machine quilting - I love the hand quilting but machine quilting is lovely, also. I think it's so much fun to do something different than we usually do. :-) Carol

Karen said...

I have become a big fan of the Gee's Bend quilts and the history behind the quiltmakers. I have two of their books now and enjoy looking at them over and over again. Your version is beautiful. I love the style and the colors were a wonderful choice for spring. Thank you for sharing your quilt and your story and giving me more inspiration to make one for myself.

Quilter Kathy said...

Very cool! You tried so many different things in this quilt and it turned out so nice!

Viviana said...

It's really like spring time! You've made a beautiful quilt!! Congratulations!!

Marit said...

I love how your Gee's Bend inspired quilt turned out! Their quilts and stories are fascinating. Thank you for sharing your design process, and inspiring me to try this myself!
Wish for a beautiful spring season, for you...

; )

LOVE TO STITCH BEE TREE DESIGNS said...

You did a great job on your version. Nice color combinations. I got to visit a traveling exhibition of Gee's Bend quilts at the Museum in St Louis last summer. It was wonderful. They also had in the smae exhibit, prints of some quilts and a finshed quilt by them. Someone had taught a few of the Gee's Bend women how to make prints from the quilts. Fantastic seeing that process too. Would love to see the whole collection.

averyclaire said...

A lovely spring quilt...well done. You always do beautiful work no matter what you are doing. Happy Easter.

Cathi said...

What a great quilt. I really like the quilting -- and am wondering whether I can manage that on my machine. Hmm ...

Sharon said...

Your quilt turned out beautiful! Last fall I attended a quilt show that featured some of the quilts from Gee's Bend...they were very interesting to look at, and used whatever they had available. Love how you interpeted the quilt and the colors are perfect!