Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Gee's Bend Quilts

Pinterest photo
I've been interested in the quilts produced in Gee's Bend, Alabama, since I first read about them in one of my mom's quilt magazines several years ago.  Our recent trip to Tennessee and Kentucky took us in a roundabout sort of way through parts of Alabama.  Since much of that trip had to do with quilts, I began thinking about the Gee's Bend quilts and had the idea to make my own replication quilt inspired by those in the magazine article.  

Auburn University photo
I can't find the article now, of course.  I may have returned the magazine to mom, or not.  I very likely have it in my collection, but my magazines are not arranged in any form unless "tossed on the shelf" counts.  Not exactly a good impression considering I am a librarian.  

It's rare that I go looking for one particular thing in those magazines.  It would take lots of time and effort.  I don't have the space.  Mostly my only reason is that I just don't have the desire.  Regardless, the once a year that I do want something, I am reminded that it's disgraceful, so it isn't necessary to pass that info along to me.  It won't help anyway.

Back to Gee's Bend.  I figured I'd do the next best thing: Pinterest some photos and find one or two I like.  Nooo, that won't work either.  Firstly, Pinterest has Gee's Bend inspired quilts, not the real thing.  Secondly, I know what I want (I think) and I couldn't find it.  Although I did build a "Gee's Bend, quilts" board of some quilts I do like.  Mostly, though, Pinterest has photos of knitted blankets inspired by Gee's Bend.  Not what I want.  So I did a "real" search: can we say Google?  This is what I found.

Auburn University has an extensive Gee's Bend web project that documents the quilts, the quilters, the history, archives, links.....everything I could want!  Thank you Auburn!  

To clarify, some of the photos on Pinterest are of original Gee's Bend quilts or very good reproductions, but there's no way to know which unless you follow the links.  It's also possible the photos may have been touched up.  Look at the two photos at the top of the page and make the comparison for yourself.  All other photos are from the Auburn University website.
Now that I've found the Auburn U. site, I'm going to take my time and really look at and enjoy the quilts while I consider what I want to do about my idea.  Now isn't that a great idea?

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