Monday, July 25, 2022

Barbara's Gee's Bend Inspired Housetop Quilt

Do I have a treat to share with you today!!  This striking contemporary quilt was made by my client Barbara, who was inspired by the iconic "Housetop" style of abstract quiltmaking that was pioneered by the African-American quilting tradition that originated in Gee's Bend, Alabama.  If you're not familiar with the Gee's Bend quilting tradition, definitely check out both of those links. And then check out this article detailing the history of the Gee's Bend quilters in the Smithsonian Magazine, too.   Do it now -- I'll wait!  Seriously!  I would argue that the entire modern quilting movement as we know it today traces its roots back to "The Quilts of Gee's Bend" exhibit that took the art world by storm when it opened at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in 2002:

Gee's Bend's "eye-poppingly gorgeous quilts turn out to be some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced. Imagine Matisse and Klee (if you think I'm wildly exaggerating, see the show), arising not from rarefied Europe, but from the caramel soil of the rural South."             -- Michael Kimmelman, Art Critic for the New York Times


Barbara's 57 x 65 Housetops Quilt with Bobbing For Apples E2E

So hopefully now you've given yourself a crash-course on the Gee's Bend quiltmaking tradition and you can fully appreciate what Barbara was working towards with this piece.  Don't you just love the mix of colors and fabrics in her quilt?  The vivid coral orange, salmon pink, brick red and mustard with just that little bit of deep raspberry convey so much energy!  And I love how this quilt reads as though it's all solids from a distance, yet she does have that khaki and white stripe in there and wide swaths of the yellow tonal print fabric.  Those details make the finished piece so much more interesting than it might have been with a more restricted assortment of fabrics.

This Quilt Is Even More Gorgeous In Real Life

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Feather Quilting Dresses Up Jingle's Setting Triangles

Hey there, Quilty Folk!  I finally have some quilting progress to share on my Jingle sampler that is not invisible!

Sashing Triangles Done, Just Starting This Star Block

By the time I was done with the Drudgery That Is Ditch-Stitching, a little devil was whispering wicked things in my ear like "How much credibility would I lose as a professional longarm quilter if I paid someone else to do this for me?" and "maybe I should try some other hobby, like golf?"  Y'all, I have tried golf and it did not go well -- so it looks like I'm stuck with quilting!

It took me three days to quilt these feather designs in my setting triangles, four if you count the day I spent considering all of the bazillion possible ways I could quilt them until I narrowed it down to this one.  It's a digital block design from Anne Bright that I chose because it has formal, symmetrical feathers that complement the style of metallic Hoffman fabrics that I used in my borders and fussy cut for some of the blocks.  But it's not too traditional, either, with the staggered feather plumes curling around on themselves.  There's a touch of whimsy to these feathers that connects well with the simple appliqué shapes.  At least, that's the hope!

These Inside Corners Were Challenging!

These weird inside corner shapes (above in green and below in red) were challenging both in deciding what to quilt there, how I wanted to turn the corner with the design, and then fitting the designs into the weirdly-shaped spaces.  I was very glad when I had the fourth one stitched without messing any of them up!  

Affiliate Links Disclosure

Rebecca Grace Quilting participates in Amazon, Etsy, and AccuQuilt affiliate advertising programs. At no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission in the event that you make a purchase after clicking one of the links in my post. Thanks for your support!