Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Gee's Bend Improvisational Workshop

Gee's Bend Quilt Exhibit at Flint Institute of Art


Gee's Bend Quilt Exhibit at Flint Institute of Art

I was so excited to see that the Gee's Bend Quilts exhibit was coming to Michigan last fall and added the date to my calendar right away. It wasn't until I was browsing the Flint Institute of Art's website two weeks ago that I saw that they were offering improvisational workshops with the artists. I called the museum right away and was got the last spot in the Sunday workshop (talk about perfect timing!).




Gee's Bend Quilt Exhibit at Flint Institute of Art

The workshop was totally laid back and our only assignment was to select some fabric donated by the Goodwill and get to work. The ladies from Gee's Bend walked around from table to table and gave us encouraging praise and practical tips for handsewing and we got to soak up their talent and listen to their personal histories with quilting. The greatest piece of advice that I took away from the afternoon was to stop self-editing and judging my work and to just go with the flow. It was such a valuable lesson!



Gee's Bend Quilt Exhibit at Flint Institute of Art

The ladies ended the afternoon by singing together and leading us in a group prayer. It was such a powerful moment. I'm so glad that I was able to meet these women in person!




Gee's Bend Quilt Exhibit at Flint Institute of Art


Gee's Bend Quilt Exhibit at Flint Institute of Art

Here's my flickr set with the rest of the photos from the day.



And here's a link to another improvisational quilting exhibit I saw a few years ago.



26 comments:

  1. what a wonderful experience - love all the quilts..they are gorgeous!

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  2. Lucky you! Sounds like a fabulous day! They really have an eye for design, don't they.

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  3. what an amazing day you had! thank for sharing it with us!

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  4. Wow! What an amazing day!

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  5. Oh you lucky girl!!!!! I would've loved to meet these women and learn from them. The quilts of Gee's Bend are my favorite. So when do we get to see what you made???

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  6. oh my goodness! this is incredible! i have a complete love affair with gees bend quilts-- i can't believe you actually got to go to a workshop! what a fabulous experience!

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  7. This sounds fabulous! How exciting for you to get to attend this. Yippee!

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  8. Wow! I would have flown straight home had I known. So glad you had this experience. They are the real thing when it comes to Improv.

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  9. what a fantastic opportunity! I am constantly in awe of the Gee's bend women.

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  10. Love your blog/URL name! I should have called mine dontcallmeliz!!!!!=)

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  11. ohh that would have been an amazing experience

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  12. Glad you got a chance to do that! The Gees Bend quilters have a 3-day workshop coming up here in Alabama in May, but it is the same time as a sketching workshop that I want to take, so it is a tough decision which one to do!

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  13. That is incredible! What a neat opportunity! My favorite part of your post was reading that the ladies sang for you and led everyone in a group prayer. That just makes it all the more special. Thanks for sharing this post with us because it was really cool to read about. :)

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  14. this post gave me the chills. awesome. you are too. xox

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  15. You are so lucky to have been a part of this....You probably sang all the way home with visions of quilts running through your mind.

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  16. Wow, what a wonderful opportunity!

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  17. So, so jealous!!! What an amazing experience!

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  18. sooo inspirational! aren't the quilts just amazing in person!!

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  19. What a wonderful bit of advice, to ..."stop self-editing and judging my work and to just go with the flow. What a great experience and great quilts! I was able to see one of the Gee's Bend exhibits a few years' back and it was a memorable experience.

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  20. wow. what an incredible experience! and you got singing too? jealous. are you going to show us the piece you worked on there?

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  21. That would have been so neat to see!

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  22. Some gorgeous quilts - you lucky duck!

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  23. wow!!! that looks like a perfect way to spend the afternoon!!! What an amazing experience!

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  24. Rebekah,
    How lovely is your site!
    Love the story about Gees Bends and
    the amazing quilting ladies!
    I live in Alabama, so I am well
    aware of them, and I am so glad
    others love them as much as we do
    in AL.
    I linked back to your post on my site
    Keep up the good work.
    God bless,
    Elaine
    www.ElaineBarnett.com
    Writing(and Sometimes Sewing)to Encourage YOU!

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  25. I also had the good fortune to attend a workshop in Sisters, Oregon last summer led by the women of Gee's Bend - an absolutely amazing, incredible, liberating and uplifting experience. Thanks so much for sharing yours and alerting us to this exhibit. And your Flickr stream is incredible. Yes, I'd like to see your quilt too.
    Cheers~

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