|The whole group|
|Rita Mae Pettway with me and my Gee's Bend style quilt|
The quilts are quite different from the very precise orderly "crafty" quilts that follow rigid rules with straight lines and exact seam allowances. They are full of life and personality and reflect the lives of the people who made them.
Two women from Gee's Bend came to Vancouver for the workshop, Rita Mae Pettway (known as Rabbit) and her daughter Louisiana Bendolph. You can read their stories and see some of their quilts here.
I spent the two days hand stitching a quilt that uses a crazy assortment of fabrics. The powder pink is a corduroy fabric that started out as a skirt I made for myself in the 1980's. I cut it up and made a pair of pants (trousers) for my daughter when she was a baby. There's a lovely green herringbone wool that was left over from a blazer that I hand tailored when I was studying fashion design. A piece of Saskatchewan's tartan also made it's way into the piece. The woman sitting beside me had brought it along. I didn't even realize it was her's until long after I had used it. She was very gracious about it all.
I asked Louisiana and Rita Mae to sign my quilt. The woman who sat around me also added their names. I think I will embroider the names and add one of Rita Mae's quotes "Sometimes I do, but all the time I don't." along the stripes.