Friday, April 19, 2013

What a week!

Yesterday, I left the backwoods of Alabama.  The Alabama Folk School session ended at noon on Thursday with a concert and art show.  All of us in the Gee's Bend quilting class had our pieces hanging in the windows of our classroom. We had cleared our  tables and pushed them to the walls so that the Bluegrass classes could come in and give us a concert.
I had a wonderful and freeing time in this class. The big surprise for me was that I was not the only man in the class. Charlie and his wife, Nancy, were there sharing an antique machine.
Isn't that the coolest machine?  I wish I had taken a picture of the bobbins - they are not at all like the bobbins we use every day. 
I think both of them were new to quilting, but they did great.  Charlie is a retired surgeon and a darn good "old time" singer. This lovely couple performs together and they are both good musicians.  For one of our concerts they sang a song called "Seeing Nellie Home."  The chorus has the line "It was from Aunt Dinah's quilting party, I was seeing Nellie home."  They were a lot of fun and very creative.  Charlie also happens to be on the board of the Folk School.

The instructors for the class were China and Mary Ann Pettway. They frequently sang during classes - sometimes I could not resist joining in. And of course I had to have my picture made with them.  Mary Ann is on the left and China is on the right. We were laughing a lot so I did not get a "perfect" picture of the three of us. China has a funny look on her face in this one.  The hot Alabama sun was shining through the windows and my hair looks even thinner than it is. But, who cares.  We had a great time.
I promised to show some of my work, so here is a picture of my window area display.

The sun was so bright that parts of it washed out in the picture. I will be posting more pictures in the coming days.  Also I had one piece that didn't make to the display before I took this picture.  I will add a picture of that also.
Here is a better picture of the pieces on the left. (ignore the little man on the right of the picture.

I made many new friends, both quilters and musicians.  One of the mandolin students also had a penny whistle.  We went to the chapel and played a couple of tunes together.  The acoustics there were amazing.

When I got in late yesterday  I was exhausted.  However, my creative muse is pushing me to get back into the process of creating some more pieces to go with these.  I hope to get more made today and perhaps built on these.
I have so many more things to tell you about this class. Please,  come back tomorrow visit with me again.


Pat Merkle said...

Sounds like you had an awesome time. Can't wait to see more of your creations.

The Slow Quilter said...

Your window display is just lovely. You have done a great job, looking forward to seeing te rest. Looks like you all had a great time.

Jennifer Thomas said...

Gene, that looks like a really fun time! Bluegrass music and quilting together. I would love that. Thanks for showing the window display, too. I love the way quilts look with the sun shining through - it always reminds me of stained glass. Have a super day!

Vicki W said...

It sounds like a perfect time!

Teresa Quilts said...

I love what you made! I know you had a blast. Two of your favorite past times; music and quilting. :D

Jean(ie) said...

I am kicking myself... wish I was able to afford it. I know this gave you a fresh, new perspective on quilting.

I can't wait to hear all about it!

Barbara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barbara said...

Reposting my comment with something much catchier.
GB and GB - perfect together!

Beth said...

Sounds like an amazing experience. Your pieces on the window look so awesome. Can't wait to hear more.

Linda C said...

The pieces hanging on the window are glowing just like stained glass. Sounds like you were in hog heaven with sewing and music both happening while you were away! Do they do this every year?

Lynn said...

Glad you had a good time!

Unknown said...

What an awesome week for you. :)

Thanks for sharing it with us.

God bless and keep you,

IHaveANotion ~ Kelly Jackson said...

Oh Gene....I'm so glad you enjoyed yourself and found others who share your passions. What fun for you and I'm sure they enjoyed your company too. I probably won't get back to see your post tomorrow....but if send me a know I'll be sure to read it when I can.

Miss you my friend and so glad I could drop in for a minute to see that you are taking opportunities to enjoy yourself.


Marjorie said...

What a wonderful week--and I love the work you did. I think I like it even better than the usual Gee's Bend quilts.

Eat Sleep Quilt said...

I can tell you had a great time at your retreat, you got a lot done! I look forward to seeing them quilted.

I have a friend who is a relative of the Pettway's in Alabama. Some members of the family are named "Pettaway" but it's the same family roots.

Victoria Findlay Wolfe said...

I'm so happy you made it to the class!!! Isn't the whole experience there, just fantastic? The place, the music, sewing... Sure don't get better then that!!