I love the book “Stitched from the Soul: Slave Quilts from the Antebellum South.” It is full of amazing pictures and it’s incredible how much modern quilting echoes traditional African-American Quilting. Which of course echoes African textile traditions. The book is also full of great stories, some of which are sad, because, yeah, slavery.
But the book also shows showing the way that quilt making was a practical way that women were able to express themselves artistically as well as keep their families and their neighbors warm. As in many communities around the world and through time, quilt-making was a community activity; people would gather for parties and games and help their neighbors finish making their blankets for the winter. So, in this way, quilting was a method of empowerment and self-expression. Yeah, dignity!
I struggle back and forth with my urge to copy African-American quilt traditions. On the one hand, cultural appropriation is a long and annoying mess. On the other hand, all art(especially most quilt-making) is copying something, so if you are acknowledging the history you are in a way, honoring that tradition, not stealing from it. If you’ll allow me a third hand, this quilt is AWESOME looking, so I really wanted to make it!
Ok, shut up Dana. More quilts! This is a sloppy copy of a quilt in the aforementioned books. I was going to make it bigger, but I ran out of this awesome pre-cut vintage red fabric.
Still needs binding, but quilted – I based the straight line quilting on the quilt in the photograph.