Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 33

Thread: Gee's Bend pattern?

  1. #1
    boomwooshblahh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    49
    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
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Lebanon, Missouri
    Posts
    607
    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
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Ridgecrest, CA
    Posts
    875
    Blog Entries
    1
    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
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    49
    Thanks!
    Graph paper... that's a good idea, can't believe I didn't think of that.

  5. #5
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    currently central new jersey
    Posts
    8,700
    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
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    in my sewing room...
    Posts
    626
    Blog Entries
    7
    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
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    SW Iowa
    Posts
    32,956
    They are interesting quilts.

  8. #8
    Super Member Chele's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Belle Isle, Florida
    Posts
    6,737
    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
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Posts
    6,895
    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
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Front row
    Posts
    14,661
    Blog Entries
    2
    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!

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    missoula montana
    Posts
    17
    You can buy the Gee's Bend quilting kits from Windham Fabrics at www.windhamfabrics.com these kits include the pattern, material, cutting/sewing directions.....you can only get the pattern by buying the kit...I don't know the cost of the kits....betsy lou

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    199
    Doesn't Keepsake Quilting catalog carry a few of the patterns?

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    199
    I have to at least half agree with butterflywing. Those women used the fabric they had and made the most of it. Some of it came out like modern art and some came out like what you see when women make the most of what they have.

    Jois

  14. #14
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    at my sewing machine
    Posts
    1,975

  15. #15
    wordmama's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    northern Indiana
    Posts
    100
    Does anyone know if the quilts were all hand stitched or did they use machines?

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    98
    I would like to add to Chele's comments about the Gee's Bend quilts. They were displayed around the U.S. in various Art Museums as an Expression of Art. Traditional, contemporary and art quilt makers flocked in huge numbers to see them as well as the usual art museum goers.

    Each of these groups would view them with a different perspective based on their background. I consider myself an eclectic quilter since I do work in traditional, contemporary and art styles and admire the talented people in each field.

    When I saw the traveling exhibit in Boston it appealed to all my senses and feelings about quilting! I think it was and is one of the bridges that can help us feel part of an ever widening group of people who have a common thread (no pun intended!). My hope is that it leads us to better understand and appreciate the common and unique abilities of each other through the message of a quilt.

  17. #17
    Super Member Ditter43's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Crystal River Florida
    Posts
    9,770
    Quote Originally Posted by butterflywing
    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.
    I totally agree!!

    Ditter

  18. #18
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    currently central new jersey
    Posts
    8,700
    they were handstched-and poorly-until money came in, and then they bought machines.

    they were not made to look at. they were made to keep warm. an interesting story, but not especially interesting quilts.

    there are members on the board who remember grannies taking apart old coats and re-using the flattened out wool to use as blankets. my aunt did that as well.
    we didn't then and don't now, think of them as 'art'. we think of them as warm.
    and my aunt would shake with laughter to hear this conversation. she would love to sell you her artwork. she can afford blankets now. would anyone care to buy one from her? she comes from an impoverished upstate, ny town where there are no jobs and she's moved on to a better life. does the story sound similar? oh, she's 92 and remembers the bad old days, too.

  19. #19
    Gal
    Gal is offline
    Super Member Gal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    New Zealand in the South Pacific
    Posts
    1,117
    Anyone interested in the Gee's Bend quilts may also like to take a look at the Australian 'Wagga Wagga' Quilts.

    Gal

  20. #20
    Lisa T's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Menominee, Michigan
    Posts
    918
    The original poster may want to google "Denyse Schmidt", too. She is largely inspired by Gee's Bend quilts.

    I gotta say I am with butterfly wing on this one. I don't really see the attraction. I've only seen them online, but they didn't do anything for me at all.

  21. #21
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    976
    Quote Originally Posted by Gal
    Anyone interested in the Gee's Bend quilts may also like to take a look at the Australian 'Wagga Wagga' Quilts.

    Gal
    I'm not in the least interested in Gee's Bend quilts, but find the story interesting, as was the Wagga Wagga quilts. Very much alike in my thinking. Thanks for posting this.

  22. #22

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    69
    reminds me of the story of The Emperors new clothes. My mother in law made beautiful quilts out of old clothing scraps. I think workmanship should come into play somewhere.

  23. #23
    Super Member oksewglad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Between the dashes of a tombstone
    Posts
    9,724
    Blog Entries
    1
    I love the discussion on this! I am not fascinated by the Gee's bend quilts--women did what they had to do to keep their families warm. IMHO I feel most of us here on the board have lost touch with the extreme poverty these women dealt with. For this I respect their ingenuity. Is this art or survival?

  24. #24
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Reno, Nv
    Posts
    14,860
    The exibit is currently at our museum here in reno. I don't think that there are patterns available, but there is a book on them available to purchase. Or maybe your library has it for check out? Here is a link to see the book and to get the ubc code.

    http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&q=Gee's+Bend+quilts&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=810870650842321873&ei=TLrAS4nXHZmyMb3ZuMoK&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CBYQ8wIwAw#ps-sellers

  25. #25
    JJs
    JJs is offline
    Banned
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    LA - Lower Alabama
    Posts
    894
    Being here in South Alabama I have actually met some of the Gees Bend Quilters. What they had was a great promoter who saw a chance to make some money - and he (and his group did). They have actually profited very little.
    On the other hand, there have been family members who never made a stitch in their lives before all the fame who have jumped on the bandwagon.
    While I'm not all that impressed with the quilts, I am impressed with the promotion these ladies have gotten!
    And the ones I have met have all been very nice and gracious...

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.