Sunday, March 30, 2008

Wonderful Sunday!

I had the MOST wonderful Sunday afternoon today! Being new to Winston Salem (and to NC in general..the only tourist attraction for me as far as NC went was Mary Jos!) means there are lots of things to discover!

Well, I was told last week "Oh, you know Reynolda House is open to the public next Sunday and I think they have quilts there."

Imagine MY surprise when I find out the "quilts" they have there is an exhibit of African American quilts from the SMITHSONIAN!!!! OMGoodness! I couldn't believe my good luck. The exhibit was free today...but the best part...I came ALONE! *LOL* I can just see that my family of men would NOT understand the attraction in Ghees Bend style quilts. So...I got to bask in their glory all myself. And I am not embarassed to say that they moved me to tears. Literally. I had a docent bring me a tissue. Not only that, she said I wasn't the only quilter who had cried when seeing them, that was why she was CARRYING tissues to begin with.

I've seen these quilts for years in books and magazines and tv, and drooled over them. But seeing them up close and personal (as close as they would allow my eyes to get without touching them) was a moving experience. I could see the weave of the double knit polyester they were made from. I could see the stitches. I could see the quilting knots that lay on top of the quilt. I could see where diamonds were pieced because there was not enough fabric to cut the shape from a single piece.

I thought of these marvelous women who had so little to begin with, but created so much. I read the placards of their lives and words that were posted next to each quilt, and I blubbered some more. I feel like these women are MY sisters.

I couldn't photograph, of course..but I did get a couple shots from the up above mezzanine, without flash. Blurry maybe, but you get the idea!

Here is a printable brochure that contains items in this exhibit, so you can see what I saw up close and personal :c)

The rest of Reynolda House and Museum paled in comparison to what I had experienced in the quilt exhibit. But it really has a fabulous story as well....


  1. WOW! you're so lucky!! I always wonder how many other "Ghees Bend"-like people and quilts are out there just waiting for recognition....

  2. Wow Bonnie! Fancy all that coming from an off-handed comment :) What a great day!

  3. Oh, that sounds like an exhibit of a lifetime! I love the feeling I get when looking at older quilts. I always wonder what was going through their minds or going on in their life at that time.

  4. How wonderful.....
    I got to see the Gee's Bend ( yes that is the proper spelling cause I read it on my postage stamps :0)) Quilts at an exhibition in NYC at the Whitney museum.....they are indeed very moving. While we walked around looking at the quilts music played sung by the quilt makers. It was all such a great experience and so inspirational. So happy you got to enjoy this time with the quilts.

  5. Bonnie-The New england Quilt Museum had an exhibit called "I Remember Mama" last spring. The quilts were about the quilters' memories of their mothers. There were tissue boxes all around the exhibit, and they were liberally used!

  6. What a wonderful find! I'm green with envy. And...green is my least favorite color. I'm glad you are enjoying your new home and area. Such an adventure.

  7. Shows you never know what you're going to run into or find out about on any given day. Glad you got to see that exhibit. I saw the Gee's Bend show at the Milwaukee Art Museum a couple of years ago, and I felt exactly the way you did! Unforgettable!

  8. What wonderful quilts - it just goes to show how 'utility' can become 'art'. I was fascinated to read that they were happy to use both cotton and synthetics. I remember having a similar reaction when I saw a collection of historical embroidery samplers last year. Some dated back to the 18th century and were exquisite.

  9. Oh you lucky lucky girl. I'm so envious. I don't think I'm going to ever get the chance to see them.

    What an amazing house. Are you going to go back to explore? I would have thought it was your "thing".

  10. Bonnie, I'm so glad that you stumbled upon this one, I didn't even hear about it!

  11. What a wonderful experience to enjoy! I can only imagine how amazing the actuality of seeing the quilts must feel to you! I would have a difficult time keeping my hands to myself. ;-)

    Where are you taking us next?! ;-)

  12. I cried when I saw the Conway Album quilt made by Irma Gail Hatcher in person, up close, at the museum in Paducah. I just sat on the bench in front of it and drank it in for many minutes with tears running down my cheeks. I was truly awed. I got to see the Ghees Bend quilts when they were here in D.C. and felt the same way you did. So I can truly understand how terrific your Sunday was.

  13. Oh how wonderful! There were a couple in that brochure I would love to make!

  14. Bonnie,
    Thank you for sharing the picture of the Gee bend quilts and the brochure- it is always a powerful experience to see work of others- especially when you know how much work they would have done to create those quilts.

    Earlier, I was on another blog site and she had pictures of what I think looked like your cherry trees that you posted a couple of weeks ago - If you want it go and have a look it was called allthingsquilty.blogspot.com and she lives in North Carolina too .

    Regards from a Western canadian quilter,

  15. It's always amazing to find such experiences so close to home! Thanks for sharing. :-)

  16. Oh, wow! Lucky you! I would love to see those quilts sometime.

    And your book-- exciting! Enjoy the process. It all will fall into place at the appointed time.

  17. How awesome! I hope I stumble upon the exhibit someday. What an opportunity!

    I would of cried too!


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