In 17 days, some of us will descend upon Austin, TX for a big quilt gathering, QuiltCon. I’ll be taking a class with some of the ladies of Gee’s Bend and attending lots of lectures, including one with Bill Volkening on his incredible collection. Honestly, I’m experiencing a little quilt burnout at the moment, but I’m sure also getting to see friends—old and new—will re-energize me. Oh, and the food and the folks! Tacos and barbeque and southern accents will feed my soul. This chattering is running on, but the icy wintry mess of a day we’re having here reminds me that the weather will also be a welcome shift. Okay…it’s gonna be great!

Five of my quilts will hang in the show. I thought I’d remind you of the four I’ve shown here before and then tell you about the fifth later in the week. These are the descriptions I sent in with the entries, along with links to the original posts.

Self Study #4: The one for T

Self Study #4: the one for T

Claiming stand-your-ground rights, in February 2012 George Zimmerman shot and killed unarmed teenager, Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida.

In the immediate aftermath of the killing, the hoodie became the icon for the outrage. I played with self-portrait images to try to somehow comprehend this simple dimension of the case. Is a hoodie just a symbol of a hoodlum, whose only fate should be early death?

This quilt is a collage of those self-portraits in a hoodie rendered in applique using a street art style; it is a tribute to young Trayvon who needn’t have died that night.


Tune in Next Week

Tune in next week

This quilt originated as a Modern Quilt Guild fabric challenge sponsored by Michael Miller. The grey print reminded me of the stellated Sputnik satellites and early television antennae. Hence it inspired this improvisational mid-century modern graphic design. The irregular, but always rectangular (often log cabin) shapes bounce up on the blank field with a sense of new vigor. Other regions of the design are playful deconstructions of the architecture.
(Longarm quilted by Pam Cole).


In Anniston


The first of a series of log cabin quilts designed to represent places important to me, this is at once traditional and improvisational work, using my own handdyed indigos to represent my grandmother’s house in Alabama. In the construction, there was something primal about the improvisation within the traditional construction. The pristine center that I’d manicured carefully quickly became free-ranging, ramshackle patchwork with personality‚Ķand, dare I say, soul.


In Wedowee

In Wedowee

Part of a series of log cabin quilts representing places important to me, this is our ancestral home–a dirt floor stick shack–where my father was raised on the land where our ancestors were enslaved in the mountains of Alabama.

Built by hand from handdyed cottons using just scissors, no rulers. Improvisational handquilting in pseudo-Kantha style is an attempt to mimic the tractor tracks on the farm. Crop circles and planting furrows.


Of course, quilts look very different in person. I’m looking forward to the show in Austin to see looks of great work in person.

Next time in this space? I’ll show you my snatch (quilt).

No, really. But not really.