Sunday, August 23, 2009
"Are There Hummingbird Gardens in Gee's Bend?"
So here's a very rough shot of what I've been working on this week, unfinished and still up on the design wall. Its working title: "Are There Hummingbird Gardens in Gee's Bend?", because the colors and general wild, bright layout are inspired by my own hummingbird garden here outside of Ithaca, NY, and because it is done in a very spontaneous and not-straight-line manner of construction. A little not-too-straight cut with scissors here, a little curved line piecing there, a little Nancy Crow meets the quilters of Gee's Bend meets Gwen Marston.
It's not that easy, when your mother has spent your whole lifetime training you in the skills of precision and exacting measuring and cutting, to force yourself to throw off those careful habits and sew things crooked on purpose! And by no account would I claim to have mastered the free-piecing skills of the Gee's Bend and other traditional African-American quilters, but I'm trying.