Local Georgia quilt guild invites community to rethink quilting

Published by Taylor Shaw on

Local Georgia quilt guild invites community to rethink quilting

A local quilt guild hosted an exhibition at the Alpharetta Arts Center on Feb. 20th. 

The Chattahoochee Evening Stars (CES) quilt guild humorously named the event, “Not Your Granny’s Quilts: Quilting in the 21st Century,” commemorating the work of its 50 plus members.

The event was open to the public and it garnered a gathering of 20 people. Attendees identified themselves as quilt enthusiasts, quilters, sewers and two CES quilt guild members.

Alpharetta Arts Center.
Taylor Shaw | Avant-Youth

Traditional techniques

Quilts of different styles and sizes hung in every square inch of the showroom. Participants admired the artwork while learning about various quilting techniques. Randy Kloefkorn, the event coordinator and a guild member, explained these techniques and the progression of quilting.

“Log cabin quilts originated in Abraham Lincoln’s time, so that’s 150 years old, and a lot of quilts from the ‘30s were made out of sugar sacks and seed sacks,” Kloefkorn said.

“More traditional quilts take a block and repeat it 12 times and put a strip of fabric between the blocks and that’s what we call ‘sashing,’” Kloefkorn said.

Some pieces displayed this traditional style, while others reflected art created through technological advances. 

New school techniques

There are endless types of fabrics, and people have more means to achieve them.

“We now have rulers, rotary cutters, digital patterns, and now we have softwares where you can design your own cloths,” Kloefkorn said.

The resources for new age quilters allows them to design their own fabrics. Now there are more fabric distributors and more fabric companies hiring designers and selling their prints Kloefkorn explained.

#QuiltersofTikTok has 10.9 million views, and a younger generation of quilters are describing their techniques. Some quilters were using Adobe textile designer or spoonflower to create their own fabric designs. 

An art form

Vic Ferguson, a sewer, heard about the event in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. She was accompanied by her friend that collects quilts and another friend that sews.

“I sew but my friend collects quilts. She has over 50 I’m sure,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson came to the event because she is interested in stitching techniques and quilt designs. She was pleasantly surprised by the complex designs of the quilts.

"Hear me roar."
Taylor Shaw | Avant-Youth

“It truly is art. I had no idea. These designs are amazing and nothing like I’ve seen before,” Ferguson said.

Kloefkorn explained many overlook the artwork on quilts whether it is old school or new school.

“The civil war reproduction has 19th century prints and more modern quilts have asymmetry, wild colors, change in scales and negative space,” Kloefkorn said.

The CES quilt guild also provided a voting area for attendees to vote on their favorite quilt. Ferguson utilized this exciting addition.

“I voted for the first one, the lion, but that was before I heard the story of this quilt,” Ferguson said.

The colorful quilt was a beautiful lion’s head, and it was one of the larger pieces on display.

Inspiration

However, the story of a colorful hand-stitched quilt grabbed Ferguson’s attention.

The quilter gained possession of her grandmother’s quilt after a fire. She reworked her grandmother’s stitching to salvage the quilt, and she hand stitched more designs to add a modern touch to the blanket. 

She titled the piece, “This is my granny’s quilt.”

The purpose of the exhibition was to introduce people to the progression of quilting. The event coordinator and members of the guild wanted to show that quilting is not only an art form, but an art form that is continuously evolving.

This is my granny's quilt.
Taylor Shaw | Avant-Youth

“We would just hope people will come see this and realize all the stuff that is going on right in their community, that the art that is going on, and if they want to learn how to do it and be a part of it they can get involved in a quilt guild. We want people to recognize quilting as an art form and appreciate the beauty. Quilts are unique because they are functional and beautiful,” Kloefkorn said. 

If you are interested in viewing the quilt exhibit, it will be on display until March 26, 2021.  For more information about future events check out their website.

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Taylor Shaw

Taylor Shaw

Taylor Shaw graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.A. in Sociology. She is currently attending the University of Colorado to work on her journalism degree and has aspirations of running her own magazine and writing children’s books.

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