Saturday, September 24, 2011

Art Bead Scene September Challenge- Gees Bend

If you are here for the Bead Soup Blog Hop click HERE

I was so excited to see that this month's challenge involved a quilt as inspiration. 
This is the quilt:  
"Housetop"--twelve-block "Half-Logcabin" variation, ca. 1965
Cotton, Wool Corduroy, 77"x 65"
Lillie Mae Pettway, 1927-1990
Gee Bend's Quilter

I am familiar with the Gees Bend quilts and their history.  
These women used every scrap of old clothing, flour sacks ect to create their colorful quilts.  
They are all hand stitched, they could not afford sewing machines.  
Their wonky lines and unusual color combinations 
are what make them true examples of folk art and american ingenuity.  
I wanted to capture that in my entry so I started with old thread spools. 

I decoupaged tiny fabric scraps onto the spools 
and then colored the portions I could with permanent felt tipped pens.  
I created tassels with cotton crochet thread in black and white 
and pulled them through the spools so that they could dangle.  
When I saw the fabric with words on it in deep beige and black I immediately thought of scrabble tiles so I raided our old game and drilled holes in the letters B, D, E, E, E, G, N, S... 
if you unscramble them you can spell "GEE'S BEND"!!

Then I had the pleasure of creating the tiny little quilted bib portion 
complete with batting and free motion stitching 
in purposely imperfect lines to mimic the wonkyness of the inspiration piece. 
There are four layers; the pieced fabric top layer, the wool batting, some stabilizer 
and then fabric lining to cover all my threads from attaching the spools and the scrabble tiles. 

This was a really fun challenge for me because I am also an art quilter, 
belong to my local guild Desert Quilters of Nevada and enjoy all the very talented ladies in my  monthly "Art Quilts Ect" Circle where we share all our work. 
I loved combining that passion with another jewelry piece.  
Thanks ABS!!


  1. You totally nailed this! What a great piece of work and I love all your use of materials . . .it's really just a happy work of art!!

  2. I really like this, it s stunning in a unique way. I like the way tou have incorporated the scrabble letters.
    Deb x

  3. Love your challenge piece it is so creative and unique.

  4. Thank you ladies for all your kind compliments. I found the Gee's Bend Quilt really inspiring and wanted to make a folksy fun piece to wear. Statement necklace gone casual.

  5. I love what you did here!! what fun!! I love using my old spools- have you ever used them for stamping on fabric or anything for that matter??? Wish I had an art quilt group- might just ahve to start one!!! Here is VA folks are pretty uptight and conservative about their quilts- perfect point, following a pattern and all that!! That is fine for them - Just not for ME!!!!!
    It has been so lovely to meet you thru the Bead soup. Now I have to go find your soup creation!!!

  6. Love, love, love this piece. So colorful and full of texture. Well done...

  7. I landed here, thanks to your visit to my BSBP blog post! And SO enjoyed reading this post about the Gees Bend quilt; your creation is absolutely amazing! I've just begun quilting, and recently watched a DVD about the women of Gee's Bend, so I was super interested in this post. I also have a separate quilting blog...come for a visit sometime!

  8. This necklace is so unique, I love it!


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