Some books are fictional, some are what I’m going to call LifeBOOKs – books which help you read life. Books you remember because they open doors, open eyes, make you see and understand things you didn’t before you opened the covers. I hope to pull some of these down off my shelves and review them now and then.
This book is not just a stunning feast for the eyes, but the story of poverty and in that deprived environment, how a community of women together made essential yet beautiful fabric coverings to keep their family alive in harsh winters. They grew to love their work – there would even be days when the women pegged out their quilts to air, on a long washing line, and they would do this at the same time, so they could see each other’s patterns and colours. In a world with nothing, they were effectively having art exhibitions.
Some of the photos in the magazine show the textures of their environment – and this is where architecture and living space around them can influence the quilt – there are broken patterns of gates, wood slats, fences – similar to the broken, uneven patterns in the quilts.
Creative Ideas to Take away:
- try making things in a group, and talking as you go. (You can often do this with paint/glaze studios where you come as a group to paint pottery, and chat as you are doing this)
- if you like sewing, gather scraps of material and sew them in patterns
- if textiles are not your thing – you can gather old magazines, cut them into strips and shapes used in patchwork – and collage them
Inspiration is everywhere. “I see the barn, and I get an idea to make a quilt. I can walk outside and look around in the yard and see ideas all around the front and the back of my house. Then, sitting down looking at a quilt, I get another idea from the quilt I already made. When I get an idea and don’t do nothing about it then, I forget it.” Mary Lee Bendolph
What ideas have you had today – and what are you going to do about it?
If you feel out of ideas – where are you going to look for them?
“Gee’s Bend – the Architecture of the Quilt” edited by Paul Arnett, Joanne Cubbs and Eugene W. Metcalf Jr.
Published Tinwood Books, Atlanta, 2006