Today I’m in the studio working on models for the product component of my thesis. I’m surrounded by color and fabric and it reminded me of the distinctive color blocks in the quilts of Gee’s Bend, which I’ve loved since I discovered them on a set of U.S. stamps a few years back.
Gee’s Bend has a great history. You can read about the quiltmakers here and see a catalog of some of the most famous quilts here. There are also a number of books available as well. It’s very inspiring to see a historically modest women’s craft elevated to the level of art by a community of talented craftspeople.
Quilting is a joyful art form. Not just the color and the softness of the textiles, but also the integration of memory in tangible form. Quilts often use fabric from special occasions or the clothing of children after they’ve grown up. They’re traditionally made by hand and often given as gifts. The quilters of Gee’s Bend take this rich history and unselfconsciously interpret it in a very bold and modern way.