"Walking to New Orleans"

"Walking to New Orleans" may not seem to have much to do with Gees Bend and African textile motifs but that is where I ended up. The guild that I belong to sponsored a workshop that explored the history, energy and art of the quilts of Gees Bend with an eye to traditional African Motifs.
The technique is simple: use colour, traditional blocks in variations, don't use a ruler; then have fun steppping away from all the tradtional quilt rules like matching corners and exact measurements.
The results from everyone were fantastic. So much colorful play with geometry.
Here is a selection of the blocks made by some of the group over the 2-day workshop:

This first set of 2 wall hangings in this photo were the teacher's samples (Stacey Littlejohn).

Stacey also made a bed-size quilt. I love it's bright funky look.

I know that the can-can does not really represent African motifs or the rural south but I love this print by Roisin (bespoke uprising) and felt it needed to be used.

I love green (any shade), purples and orange because they are such happy colours. Really this all is threaded together because Melissa recently returned from New Orleans, I am working on a red and purple quilt for her, I already made her an orange quilt and Roisin is Melissa and Cara's very good friend. There must be a dance party somewhere in New Orleans so the dancing legs work for me!
I figure that perhaps I must not have listened somewhere along the way because my result is not quite the same as the rest of the group's work (which I really liked).
After dinner on Sunday I was obsessed to finish this piece (sorry Heather) and worked till 3 AM quilting it and adding the binding. I spent the rest of my free time this week stitching down the binding and now it is done.
P.S. The oranges were all hand-dyed by me, the greens and purples were hand-dyed gift fabrics, the prints were hand screened and dyed by Roisin, the backing is a true African textile (which I forgot to photograph).
The basic blocks that I made were:Roman Stripe and Bulls Eye in 5 variations of each (and an additional pinwheel block).


  1. WOW!......IMPRESSIVE!!!
    I think everyone did an outstanding job. What a fabulous workshop this must have been.

  2. I don't see how your blocks are different, but then I didn't take the class. They are all beautiful!


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