Halette. Quilt Display. August 26th , 2017.
It was not until the 1970s that this unique category of quilts came to be recognized and regarded as "official" by the larger quilting community. However, these so-called experts, while taking a step in the right direction, inadvertently caused more harm initially. They stated that African American quilts, in order to be categorized as such, had to fall within certain narrowly defined parameters, and made by black women who resided in a particular geographical region of the United States. This, then, meant that the vast majority of African American quilters were still left virtually unrecognized and unwelcomed into the quilting community, as their work fell neither in the category of traditional quilting or within the newly defined category of African American quilting.
Now we are ready to hang our design wall and start using it. We just need to place bits of fabrics, blocks or quilt tops on the design wall, bring into line the corners and boundaries with the stitching lines. The consistency of the flannel will cause the fabric to fasten. There are times when we can use straight pins to break through the batting. This proves helpful in keeping all the sections in place.
In olden days, pioneer families that braved the hostile, westward trails, in hopes of finding new land, and new lives, had to stock up on supplies, as they prepared for their journeys. They needed provisions that would not only assist with their safe passage, but would help them to survive, when they reached their destinations. Along with several months` worth of food, ammunition, and clothing, it was recommended that every family pack enough bedding to last for a few years, with two or three quilts or blankets per person.
For example, the soft baby flannel that may be used in the piecing of a clown`s hat may evoke memories of a toy that the quilter`s son once played with in the nursery. The soft pink cotton that once was the out grown nightgown of a clumsy toddler is now the ballerina`s skirt in a children`s quilt of a graceful little girl, who grew up and now loves to show her Mommy how much she loves to dance, instead of crawling around the house. Or the blue jean train on the newly finished children`s quilt which was once a little boy`s first pair of dungarees. Tonight, when he goes to bed, and hugs his handmade children`s quilt, the story can be told again about the little train on that special children`s quilt, a keepsake for years to come, with a story to tell.
Fortunately, the definition of African American quilting became broader in the 1980s, ironically enough because of the pioneering work of such women as Dr. Mazloomi herself, along with a number of her contemporaries. The first African American quilting guild was formed as a result of an advertisement placed by Mazloomi in a magazine; nine women responded. Today, the Women of Color Quilter`s Network has approximately 1700 members, some of whom are accomplished artists, speakers, and authors themselves. Similar guilds have since been formed.
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