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Thread: Gee's Bend pattern?

  1. #1
    boomwooshblahh's Avatar
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    I'm taking a quilting class at my university. We have to do a research project on something to do with quilting... give a speech about it and make a quilt related to it. I'm doing mine on Gee's Bend. I've found plenty of information about it, but I can't find any patterns to follow. Because I'm a beginner (I had never quilted before this class) I would like to have some sort of pattern to follow. Does anyone know where I could find some patterns for Gee's Bend style quilts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member crashnquilt's Avatar
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    I don't think there are any patterns for the GEE'S BEND quilts. Those ladies didn't follow a pattern because their quilts were made to be used. Most of them I've seen are fairly simple, you should be able to copy one fairly easy.

  3. #3
    Senior Member sandybeach's Avatar
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    This is what I found on line:

    http://www.quiltsofgeesbend.com/quil...ibitions.shtml

    The one on the bottom left is called "Bricklayer" That looks like a very easy quilt to make. Just use some graph paper and draw it out, decide what size you want the quilt to be, then remember to add 1/4 inch all around for the seams.

  4. #4
    boomwooshblahh's Avatar
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    Thanks!
    Graph paper... that's a good idea, can't believe I didn't think of that.

  5. #5
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandybeach
    This is what I found on line:

    http://www.quiltsofgeesbend.com/quil...ibitions.shtml

    The one on the bottom left is called "Bricklayer" That looks like a very easy quilt to make. Just use some graph paper and draw it out, decide what size you want the quilt to be, then remember to add 1/4 inch all around for the seams.
    sandybeach and boomswooshblahh .......i saw the gee's bend quilt exhibit years ago before they became popular, and i know they were made from whatever was not worn out on old work clothes. so i'm not putting them down as utility quilts. but i have to say they were ugly IMHO. and put together badly.

    the ones pictured are not nearly as old as the originals that were thought to be wonderful. the originals were made mostly in the 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's. after that money came into the community by way of the. quilts and they started to change. fabric became available and color sense was sharpened.

    i couldn't help thinking that if artsy-fartsy people hadn't "discovered" these quilts, they would not be of any significance.

    other extremely poor people have made quilts from worn out clothes that were well thought out and with attention to detail. some of those quilts are quite beautiful. but i don't believe that just because something is made by poor people it is automatically lovely or artful or shows any degree of skiil.

    the ones that gee's benders are making now are being made for sale and bear no resemblance to the originals. the originals had very few colors and they were simply large pieces put together any which way the fabric would allow. so a pants leg might be attached to a shirt back. etc. on the original gee's bend quilts small (the size of a child's long sleeve) pieces were hardly used. only garment-sized pieces. nor were they the first to do this.

    some quilters did try to make the best color and design use of what they had, but they did not have enough of any one color to work with and as much as they might wish otherwise beauty was not big on their 'to-do' list. they had enough on their plates. they simply put together the biggest pieces they could find as well as they knew how, and slept under them.

    other than being a statement of poverty, i honestly never understood the fascination with these quilts.

    yakkety, yakkety, yak. sorry about that.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Dorothy of Kansas's Avatar
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    That "bricklayer" pattern is actually "courthouse steps" which is a variation of a log cabin. Check quilterscache for a pattern or just google courthouse steps...good luck!!

  7. #7
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    They are interesting quilts.

  8. #8
    Super Member Chele's Avatar
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    Why some people don't get the value of Gee's Bend quilts, I think it may be that subjective thing with art. It's your choice to like or dislike what you see. Personal preference. You know what moves you! Picasso was considered a "hack" in his day, but his paintings are now priceless. I'm sure there are still critics out there that don't appreciate his work.

    Same way with the Gee's Bend gals. They made do with what they had and produced utilitarian quilts to be used and loved. How fun that these creations sparked an art interest and movement so to speak. Kudos to them! I find the designs refreshingly simple and reminiscent of Amish quilts. I hope they are all proud that their quilts sparked interest in quilting of any kind.

  9. #9
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    Im glad they are getting the recognition now, but it was just women bonding and doing what they had to do! :lol:

  10. #10
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I saw the Gees Bend quilt exhibit in Boston. I was more impressed with the the story of the quilts then the quilts themselves. They all seemed random in design, using whatever fabric fit where. Check to be sure you can copy a design of any of the quilts. Their copyright is copyrighted!

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