Quilt Developments

The stunning quilts of the Gee’s Bend women had made quite an impact on me. I had played around with the small sample but i wanted to know more about what it was to make something of a larger scale. I always enjoy drawing at larger scales such as A0 although I don’t tend to get too many opportunities to do so due to the availability of work space [I think I will do more on this in a later post].

Could quilting offer an opportunity to explore scale further? I embarked on a new quilt that was a) a reasonable size and b) would allow to properly learn the appropriate techniques.

I had quite a few bits of fabric in my studio, some were Liberties samples from a trade show visit and others were pieces I already had in a draw. I did have to purchase a larger length to make the back but otherwise I just focused on technique as opposed to the potential of image through quilting.

Long Quilt. [Perren 2015]
Again, I had made a range of mistakes but the experience of the making and working with large pieces of cloth allowed me engage with the work of the Gee’s Bend women on a different level. The physicality of holding, lifting, folding, pushing that much cloth through a sewing machine, over a table was quite something.

This image of Lucy Mooney in her living room with her granddaughters; Lucy P. Pettway and Bertha Pettway became more significant. The assistance in making and company while doing so suggests that something other than a practical, physical quilt can emerge from an experience of making a quilt.

Sewing a Quilt, Gee’s Bend, Alabama. Arthur Rothstein photograph & title, 1937.

Sewing a quilt image: Arnett, W., & Arnett, P. (Eds.). (2002). The Quilts of Gee’s Bend. Atlanta: Tinwood Books. p.62



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