Marveille. Quilt Display. August 30th , 2017.
These often included quilts that had been stitched by friends of the women of the departing families, as keepsakes of people and places that they weren`t likely to see, ever again. Along the trails, quilts were used for many things, besides bedding. While friendship and heirloom quilts were frequently kept in trunks, or used for wrapping fine china, and other delicate items, everyday quilts were folded, and used as cushions on the rigid wagon seats. During blinding dust storms, people would hang their quilts across openings, and stuff them into cracks, to keep debris and dirt out of the wagons.
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.
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.
As with a handmade quilt, each block is put in a certain color pattern for the overall effect. There is nothing better than to create something that will last for years and be handed down to future generations. That is what happens with a beautiful crochet quilt that has been made with love and care. In addition, all who view it will remark on the amount of work that had to be done and admire the person who was able to complete such a thrilling piece of art.
Mazloomi discusses how, initially, the work of African American quilters was largely ignored by the traditional quilting community, as it did not conform to traditional, commonly-held practices and beliefs surrounding quilting. Quilts created by African American quilters had, naturally, been influenced by the African culture from which the quilters and their ancestors had come. Even in the quilts of today, the use of bold, strong, vibrant color can be seen in the quilts of their black creators.
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