African American Quilts – Bellevue Art Museum

I made a trip to the Bellevue Art Museum to see “Bold Expressions: African American Quilts from the Collection of Corrine Riley”. The pieces were made between 1910-1970. I found that I was most drawn to those made in the 1940’s.

Inspiration can come from so many unexpected places. I am not a quilt maker, I actually don’t even own a quilt but would love to make one, and was so inspired by the colors, patterns and most of all, seeing the hand stitching on these pieces. Just imagining the woman, family or community that designed and made each quilt made me smile.

There was one quilt in particular that really touched me. A quilt made of scraps from overalls. Just the idea that nothing is wasted. That once an overall became too worn for wearing, it could be re-purposed for a quilt. Or how many of these pieces of fabric were possibly part of a dress or bed sheet.  Part of a life.

I got my first sewing machine when I was 13.  Over the years I’ve made skirts, curtains, shirts, pillows and many small zippered bags.  The zippered bags were a phase in high school where we had unlimited zippers and fabric in our sewing class.

Lately I have been longing to sew again.  I’ve gotten my machine out and am planning to create some bags with my art designs.  Going to the quilt show has inspired me to also consider adding pieces of fabric from my life to these bags.  That I want to re-purpose and give new life to some of my older fabrics.  Inspiration can come from so many unexpected places.

(click on any image to enlarge)

The quilt exhibition at Bellevue Art Museum will be up through October 7th, 2012.

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This entry was published on September 22, 2012 at 11:23 pm. It’s filed under art and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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