Saturday, February 21, 2009

Quilting with Gee's Bend

I finally bought the book The Quilts of Gee's Bend on ebay the other day, after a year or two of covetting it. If you haven't seen the quilts made by the women of Gee's Bend, Alabama, you're in for a treat. They have an incredible free form grace and the color schemes are sometimes surprising and irregular. The stories behind the quilts make them all even more stunning.

Just before finding the book online, a friend invited me to join a little quilting group she's starting with friends in Brooklyn. I'm really excited to start my own Gee's Bend inspired quilt -- I don't want to copy the quilts, I think that out of context they would seem a little dishonest and lose a lot of their appeal. I've been thinking though about precision versus a kind of conscious imprecision, and the idea of making something spontaneously irregular seems like such a refreshing contrast to patternmaking. It's similar to when, after working on tailored pieces for awhile, you get to play around with some poufy irregularily pleated asymmetrical gown.

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