I love the history of folks gathering around quilts long ago.
I wonder what kinds of stories they told, what songs they sang and I even wonder what they might have argued about.
"Stichin' and Pullin"
This illustration from Patricia McKissack's book shows the women of Gee's Bend (in Boykin, Alabama) gathering around a design made of colorful material scraps. Women who live in this area today, still gather daily to quilt, just as their great-great...grandmothers did before the civil war.
Visiting Gee's Bend
Tomorrow I will be visiting the quilters who live in Gee's Bend. I can't wait to see some of their quilts and hear their stories.
From the Texas Quilt Groups to the Gee's Bend Quilters!
For 2 weeks I've talked about Gee's Bend with my different Quilt groups. Each group wanted to make something for these wonderful women who have created these amazing works of art.
My Silverado group created a paper quilt. We took squares of colorful paper and wrote down words that came to mind when we thought about quilts and the folks who make them. We came up with 48 words...like patience and warmth.
On the back of the squares we glued squares of printed paper and then worked together to arrange all the squares.
Another group decorated butterflies for the Gee's Bend Quilters.
We talked about the designs on the wings and how they reminded us of pieces of material pieced together on a quilt.
The seniors at the assisted living center, had so many questions for the quilters. They filled folded cards with questions they hope will be answered. "When did you first learn how to quilt?" "What do you think about when you're quilting?"
Stitchin' and Pullin'
It was interesting to see the reactions of both young and old to Patricia McKissack's book. The adults were touched by the stories of the amazing strength and creativity of the Gee's Bend women.
The children were mesmerized by the illustrations. The favorite illustration of the group was a picture of the little girl and her grandmother, wrapped up cozy in the quilt.
The kids at the shelter made "quilt cards" for me to deliver to the quilters. They were very excited to know if the ladies would like their cards. "Can you take pictures of them?" They asked.
I can't wait to learn about the Gee's Bend Quilters...but I'm also excited to share with them what our non-quilting Quilt Groups do! I hope they let me take photos tomorrow!
For 20+ years children have called it the Magic Quilt. They've danced and pretended all over these colorful squares. I've dragged it to schools, shelters and studios where children have climbed on top to hear Magic Quilt Stories and to act them out.