Quilt by Lucy Mingo of Gee's Bend, 1979 (Collection of Bill Volckening)
The isolated rural community of Gee’s Bend in Boykin, Alabama, is populated by the descendants of African American slaves, and since the 19th century has been the source of some of the most inventive and spectacular of American quilts.
In contrast to the formal geometry of traditional quilts, the quilters of Gee’s Bend are inspired by the weathered buildings, broken paths, and rambling fences of the isolated area and create vivid, abstract works that echo the energy and syncopation of Alabama jazz. Their works have been showcased in museums and hailed as miraculous works of modern art.
The day covers the history of the Gee’s Bend quilting tradition and community through images and recorded oral histories, followed by a Gee’s Bend-inspired quilting project.
Students should bring fabric scissors, hand-sewing needles, straight pins, and a thimble (if you like). Most importantly, bring a garment (preferably a shirt) to be cut up and distributed among the group.
In the spirit of Gee’s Bend, bring your own lunch, along with something to share with your fellow quilters.
Limited to 14 participants.
Instructor: Lauren Kingsland
One 5-hour session
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)