Anna Deen, Editor, FaveQuilts.
The History of The American Quilt: I am thrilled to announce a seven part series on the history of the American quilt brought to us by Molly Williams. Over the next seven weeks Molly will explore the people, politics, patterns and processes that informed the development of the American quilt.
She will take us from early African-American quilts to the 21st Century Art quilts that we see today. I find the history of textiles inspiring and fascinating and I hope you enjoy this series.
Take it away Molly! Starch-resist dyed Adire clothKente cloth GhanaMali mud clothFante Asafo flag Ghana These war flags record historical eventsKuba cloth made from raffia — ZaireA key component of the history of the American quilt was the arrival of enslaved Africans to America.
They brought the customs, signs and symbols of their culture, which included textiles and fabrics. African textiles have large asymmetric designs that ensure the pattern can be recognized from a distance and in the glare of sunlight; as well as sharply contrasting colors which enhance the visibility of both the cloth and the symbolic patterns.
Asymmetrical deviations in the patterns are designed to confuse the path of evil spirits. In West Africa, strip weaving is the fabric construction process most used, where thin lines of fabric, which consist of symbols and patterns, are stitched together to make a wider cloth.
Abstract, figurative and geometric designs portraying secret tribal symbols are incorporated into textiles, which can be seen in the Starch-resist dyed Adire cloth from Yorubaland, Nigeria.
In America, the traditional woven strips were substituted by fabric pieces and the subversive nature of African coded language continued.
This enabled Africans to remember their roots and combined tribal histories, as seen in this piece by Harriet Powers. Although very few slave quilts have survived, two bible quilts made by Harriet Powers hang in the Smithsonian Institute.
The Underground Railroad Quilt African American folklore records a system of quilts used to direct escaping slaves to freedom in Canada. Ozella McDaniel of Charleston, South Carolina, was taught the story of a system of quilts used to direct escaping slaves to freedom by her grandmother, a former slave.
According to McDanielten quilts where used to signal the journey plan. Different quilt patterns conveyed specific instructions for each stage of the journey.
The Quilts of Gees Bend Despite their importance, there are very few early utility quilts left. Slaves, treated as possessions and commodities, were often sold on to other plantations; families were separated and belongings were shared or lost.
'The American Quilt' has hundreds of beautiful color plates of quilts, quilt blocks, and textiles. This is a lovely and engrossing book for anyone interested in American history or women's history, as well as in quilting and other fabric arts. Highly recommended/5(39). The history of quilts began long before European settlers arrived in the New World. People in nearly every part of the world had used padded fabrics for clothing, bedding, and even armor. With the arrival of the English and Dutch settlers in North America, quilting took on a new life and flourished. 'The American Quilt' has hundreds of beautiful color plates of quilts, quilt blocks, and textiles. This is a lovely and engrossing book for anyone interested in American history or women's history, as well as in quilting and other fabric arts. Highly timberdesignmag.coms:
Quilts, once irreparable, were recycled as the batting for new ones. One small Alabama community, isolated since the civil war by the geography of the area, has retained a link with their African roots. The Gees Bend plantation was founded in by Joseph Gee. Although typical of many southern plantations, Gees Bend is remarkable in that after the Civil War of — it became an isolated backwater where generations of former Pettway slaves were left to develop their own style of quilts uninformed by the changes in the traditional American quilt.
Asymmetric patterns and lines Large bright blocks of color A marked resemblance to the tradition of strip weaving Seventy Gees Bend quilts were exhibited at The Whitney Museum, New York in and their popularity continues today. Check back next week for Part Two:Early African American quilts * images (clockwise): Starch-resist dyed Adire cloth, Kente cloth Ghana, Mali mud cloth, Fante Asafo flag Ghana (These war flags record historical events), Kuba cloth made from raffia – Zaire, A key component of the history of the American quilt was the arrival of enslaved Africans to America.
history of quilting Julie Johnson Random House Dictionary defines a quilt as "a coverlet for a bed, made of two layers of fabric with some soft substance, as wool or down, between them and stitched in patterns or tufted through all thicknesses in order to prevent the filling from shifting.".
Patchwork and quilting have been practised as both practical and decorative crafts for centuries. Their popularity has fluctuated according to changes in society and styles have developed according to resources available and the social status of the maker.
The history of quilts began long before European settlers arrived in the New World. People in nearly every part of the world had used padded fabrics for clothing, bedding, .
History of Quilting “The mid-twentieth-century era of a dictatorship is a highly disturbing chapter in the history of civilization. The key development was not only the resurgence of authoritarian rule but also the rise of a particularly ruthless brand of totalitarianism that reached its full realization in the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany.
The Evolution of Art Quilts and Quilting Homepage Quilting History Quilt Patterns Sometimes you have to wonder which came first, the art quilt or the art quilter.