A quilt from the heart

Wow I am humbled, I have just come across the most amazing quilts all made in  by the beautiful creative women of GEES BEND, ALABHAMA.

striking  powerful colours, their abstract vision, made from scraps of clothes, bed sheets, work clothes, some from as far back as the Great Depression.

These women have amazing stories, heart wrenching stories of the depression, the hardship and struggle, and yet there there were making scrap quilts to adorn the walls to keep out the wind in their cabins and to keep their children warm and night

Watching one of the videos on you tube one lady said these words

” Back then nobody had nothing and everyone was happy. Now a days everybody has everything and everybody is unhappy”. These ladies may have talking about quilting, but to those who will listen they teach the best life lessons.

We can all learn from these beautiful women.

 

I tell you it bought tears to my eyes, these are REAL quilts made from somewhere deep in the soul

 

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Missouri Pettway, 1902-1981. Blocks and strips work-clothes quilt, 1942, cotton, corduroy, cotton sacking material, 90 x 69 inches. Missouri’s daughter Arlonzia describes the quilt: “It was when Daddy died. I was about seventeen, eighteen. He stayed sick about eight months and passed on. Mama say, ‘I going to take his work clothes, shape them into a quilt to remember him, and cover up under it for love.’ She take his old pants legs and shirttails, take all the clothes he had, just enough to make that quilt, ahd I helped her tore them up. Bottom of the pants is narrow, top is wide, and she had me to cutting the top part out and to shape them up in even strips.”

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sewing and singing, hemming and humming

The big presentation is over, have been tying up all the loose ends, putting all the samples, together,  double checking codes etc in readiness for admin to start ordering, There are several hundred different items to purchase, some items have to be made up, ie window treatments, cushions etc, furniture has to be placed and with one manufacturer alone there are 140 items, this is one of many suppliers who will be making bespoke items to IDC exacting standards.  Then there is all the artwork to sort out, visiting museums, choosing images to be framed and selecting photography from all the great images from Yao and purchasing all the objet d’art that bring the interiors to life.  With this design hot of the press I am now ready to start detailing up the next one, an amazing tudor gothic pile in Leamington spa.  Have already finalised the layouts, worked on the lighting etc, now I will be detailing all the separate items for the various rooms.  The best bit really !

In between all this I have found some soothing time sewing and making quilts, none are totally finished yet, although I am working on it, caught a sneeky few hours before I trottted off down to the studio this morning.  Its so nice, sitting and sewing, sometimes singing along, sometimes just humming, something very magical about quilt making.  I am a mere novice and can see how one can get hooked , already I have sketches in my art books,  little swatches of fabric to record colour combinations,  tufts of crewel wool, ideas for crewel work patches, intertwined branches bearing fruit, and some just plains with a real graphic style with huge blocks of colour.  There is something really enriching in seeing all the colours build, and amazing when unexpected colour combinations appear as one pieces the blocks together.    Magic happens.

I will post some pictures soon, cant let the cat out of the bag yet because there might be spies around,  After christmas  watch this space.

In the meantime here are some more quilts that  have caught my attention

 

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The joys of felted wool

The feel of this wool is so soft and so easy to put together.  My first ever wool quilt in process……….

Many moons ago I made many starts of hand sewn hexagons, know the type? cutting out paper templates, patches, hand basting the fabric around the patch and then hand sewing together, well not one was ever finished.  The idea of using a sewing machine for a quilt was only just emerging, but by me was frowned upon as not being traditional and most of all not PERFECT………

Many years have passed since, and recently when browsing Etsy, I came across this felted wool, so much softer than the normal felt you by and it comes in such beautiful colours and textures.  Having purchased many bundles and looking at the rich coloured stacks of fabrics, the idea of making a machine sewn quilt seemed perfectly acceptable!  So after watching numerous tutorials on you tube, off I went,  and in no time at all the squares were cut and sewn into blocks.

Laying them out and sewing together in the right order and trying to match all the seems was a little tricky.   I did not want my usual perfectionism get in the way of the instantaneous joy of working with these beautiful colours, so I tried to disengage the brain and just enjoyed the process of feeling the colours together, so what if two of the same sat  side by side or  the seams were not perfect joins. I set my intention that the quilt I was about to create was the one I was meant to have and whatever the outcome it would be beautiful to me.    So gentle music playing, the rhythmic whir of the machine, the warm soft touch of all these jewel like colours and not too many hours later the “quilt top” was finished.   It has a kind of retro look, its rich, colourful and will be oh so cosy and warm.

Now I need to apply the batting and reverse fabric and bind the edges…………………

I have already started another one, this time in cotton, same half square triangle design but in many colourful patterns.  But back to the day job today, a week of creating interiors, putting together the final scheme for my latest project for presentation on 6 Dec.  Then its on the next one…….

felted wool quilt