Galen H meets Gee’s Bend

Two years ago, when I was reeling from my metastatic diagnosis, I retreated to Atlanta for a long weekend to be with my sister. She, wisely, brought me to the High Museum of Art to see the quilts of Gee’s Bend. They were amazing and soul-nourishing, and I swore that the next quilt I made would be in the spirit of Gee’s Bend–made from the recycled fabric of shirts, pants, tablecloths, etc., and pieced back together without regard for perfect alignment. Ultimately, a more organic quilt both in material and in design.

This fall, I dug up the old clothes I had been saving for such an opportunity, and started ripping them into strips. They are the materials of Mark and my life. The shirt he wore the night we met, some pajama pants I wore to shreds, etc., etc.

I ripped them rather than using scissors and estimated their width rather than measuring. What emerged was indeed organic and imprecise. And full of love and stories just like the Gee’s Bend quilts.

Then, however, I said good-bye to the impoverished, artistic, optimistic, inspiring women of Gee’s Bend and embraced my own heritage…

Power tools.

My mother-in-law, an amazing quilter, has started a small business doing quilting in her basement on a machine that would make my father drool. It is huge. And fun to “drive.” The two requirements of any power tool–and guaranteed fun for our favorite Meyer contractor (my dad, that is).

Jane and I loaded the quilt on her machine last Saturday and I quilted like crazy. It was great fun. And the quilt turned out exactly the way I had wanted it to. I haven’t bound it yet. That’s the tedious part, but here it is…

(Oh, I did use scissors on the applique part.)

top view quiltlove birdsside view

10 replies on “Galen H meets Gee’s Bend”

Oh my – it is take-my-breath-away kind of beautiful. I love it. I more than love it. Tash – you have such talent… I am jealous… and in awe… and so happy for you that you made your lovely vision a reality. This will be something treasured for generations to come. wow.

Impressive! All I can manage in regards to quilting is cutting out the applique pieces for my friends who are quilters, those much too busy to cut their own “leaves” and “petals”. Darn. I have no organic, creative craft, just a glue stick and glitter…..

you are so crafty! i love your quilt. LOVE it. it’s probably the most beautiful thing i’ve ever seen.

Yeah, baby. I will chime in with the choir here on your beautiful piece of art. I love the beauty, the stories, and the heart behind that quilt.
Make memories :-)

this is just about perfection – both in its physical beauty and in its emotional significance to your lives. those are my most favorite things – when they are beautiful AND have personal meaning. you’ve managed both in one delightful quilt. would love to see it in person some day!

I’ve seen it and felt it and studied it in the hopes that one day I will feel the urge and do something as creative myself.

I will admit that every TWO weeks I find some new little treasure at Tash, Mark and Zoes that makes me smile or drop my mouth open in awe….This quilt is the TOPS tho…

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