Today is National Quilting Day. I am going to post about making the “Sixties Blues” quilt. About 1975, when I was pregnant with my 3rd daughter, I decided to make a quilt. I have a box of African fabric scrapes that I used. As the years went by and more babies came along, mine and those of friends, I made many African fabric patchwork quilts. Sometimes I had a pattern but usually I just put the fabric together however it moved me. Here is one I made for my granddaughter Kylett several years ago.
In 2008 I took a Photo-quilting class. Over the years, I had made patchwork quilts but had no idea there were methods to square up the corners and other fine points I never learned because I was making it up as I went along. It took me much of this 8 week class to design my first photo quilt, sew the top together and baste the three layers (top, fill and backing) together. This is my Ancestor baby quilt using pictures of family babies from the early 1900′ to the 1920s. At this same time I was getting back into printmaking. My major in college was printmaking but once I graduated, I ended up living various rural areas and I did not have access to the supplies and equipment I needed until we moved to Atlanta four years ago. where I took a class, in printmaking to refresh my mind after a 40 year break. After that semester ended, I decided to continue with the printmaking and put the quilt on the back burner. For three years.
This fall I decided to take another quilting class to force myself to finish the baby quilt. I didn’t quite finish in the first 8 weeks so I signed up for the next eight weeks and FINALLY completed the quilt, which I will put in the Annual Southwest Atlanta Art Center. I decided to do the “Challenge quilt” for the show held each spring at Southwest Atlanta Arts Center. For each show there is a “challenge quilt” that participants can do or not. This year it can be no larger than 24 X 24 inches and has to be all one color, including the thread. I decided to do one about the years of my life from 1966 to 1969. Although there were high points to those years, there were also some depressing times so I chose blue for the color. I have been making collages for all of my adult life. I have done a collage on the wall in most of the houses we lived in over the last 40 years. I decided to do this quilt much like a collage.
I have plenty of photographs from that period. I chose the ones I wanted to use, scanned them and used photoshop to fix them if they needed it, resized them and turned them blue. I inverted several so that they look like negatives. I printed the photographs on Jacquard cotton squares, 8.5 x 11 inch cotton sheets with a removable backing. (I’m not being paid by Jacquard). I made 5 squares, 8 x 10.5 inches, two and a half on top and two and a half on the bottom. I used one square for each year, give or take a bit. I arranged them much the same as I would for a collage on a wall using various sizes and shapes, over laping when I liked the look of it. There are some light spots that I am going to color in with blue pencil to be within the guidelines.
After I finished that one, I decided I like to work small and quickly made a smaller quilt which I wanted to look like the album pages that the original photographs were on. Then my grandaughter came to visit during her spring break and I didn’t get any more quilting done. She returned home today and I’m thinking about my next quilt. The next session starts next week and the show opens April 29 at Southwest Art Center and stays up about a month if you are going to be in Atlanta, drop by.
A quilted wall hanging made of sepia photographs taken in 1938 by my father, Albert B. Cleage Jr and his brothers.
Top row: Hugh Cleage, Barbara Cleage, Albert B. Cleage Jr., Henry Cleage, Gladys Cleage, Albert B. Cleage Jr
Middle row: Henry Cleage, Doris Graham (My mother), Hugh Cleage, Gladys Cleage, Barbara Cleage, Hugh Cleage, Louis Cleage playing the lute.
Bottom row: Louis Cleage, Gladys Cleage, Anna Cleage, Henry Cleage, Albert Cleage Jr. Anna Cleage and family friend Paul Payne.
These are all from a small photo album with contact sheet size photos. Every family member has their own page, as several friends do. Everybody except Anna, the youngest. Why? Did she dislike getting her photo taken? Did she take the page out? Did they ignore her because she was the youngest?
This quilt is 20in x 15 in. I am enjoying working small.
A quilt of my life and those in it for the years 1966 through 1969 with on photo of me and my oldest daughter in 1971. It is about 23 X 23 and was done for the upcoming quilt show at Southwest Atlanta Art Center next month. The challenge was to make a quilt all in one color.
Since I’m working on my ongoing project, a photograph quilt of babies in the family, I thought I would share it. Maybe that will help me to continue quilting and finally finish it. I started about three years ago. I have made many baby quilts over the years, crib size quilts, but I never completed a full sized one. I can design and put them together but finish, no. So when I saw the class listed at the local arts center for photo quilting I decided to do it. It is double bed size. I have added the outer edging which is the same brown print you see. I have two rows left to quilt before I finish the outer edge. I am hand quilting because using a machine on this one didn’t seem right. Here are the people on my quilt from top left corner across, row by row. I will give parents names and dates of birth and death for the children only. Maiden names only. Mostly. Row 1 1. Annie Lee Pope – daughter of Beulah Allen and Robert Pope. Born 1903 Montgomery, AL. Died 1971 Milwaukee, WI 2. Alice Wright – daughter of Jennie Allen and unknown Wright. Born 1908 Montgomery, AL Died 1994 Detroit, MI. 3. Charles Gilmer – son of Annie Lee Pope and Ludie Gilmer. Born 1922 Milwaukee WI. Died 1992 Los Angeles, Ca. 4. Stella holding Roscoe McCall Jr.- son of Stella Brown and Roscoe McCall Born 1918, Montgomery, AL. Death date unknown. Row 2 1. Margaret McCall – Daughter of James McCall and Margaret Walker. Born 1919 Montgomery AL. Died 2007 Detroit, MI. 2. Jennie holding Daisy, Fanny beside her. Daughters of Jennie Allen and Howard Turner. Daisy born 1890. Died 1961. Fannie born 1888. Died 1974.Both were born in Lowndes County, AL and both died in Detroit. 3. Celia Rice Cleage Sherman holding her granddaughter Gladys Cleage – daughter of Pearl Reed and Albert Cleage Sr. Born in 1922 in Detroit. Still living! 4. Hubert Vincent – son of Naomi Tulane and Hubert Vincent. Born 1923. Died 1994. Both in New York, NY. Row 3 1. Theodore Kennedy – son of Alberta Cleage and Theodore Kennedy. Born 1928 in Chattanooga, TN. Still living! 2. Albert B. Cleage Sr. and Jr. – son of Albert B. Cleage Sr. and Pearl Reed. Born 1911 in Indianapolis, IN. Died 2000 Calhoun Falls, SC. 3. Annie Willie holding Vennie Jean Williams – daughter of Annie Butler and Arthur Williams. Born 1921 Arkansas. Died 2008 Arkansas. My husband’s grandmother and Aunt. 4. Sadye and Virgil Harris. Sadye born 1917 in Birmingham, AL. Died 2008 in Maryland. Virgil born 1913 in Birmingham, AL. Died 1988 in AL. They are cousins of cousins. Sadye helped me greatly with my research. Row 4 1. Howard with big sisters Mary V. and Doris Graham – children of Mershell Graham and Fannie Turner. Howard 1928 – 1932. Doris 1923 – 1982. Mary V. born 1921 – 2009. All born in Detroit and died in Detroit. 2. Alberta, Ola and Helen Cleage – daughters of Mattie Dodson and Edward Cleage. Alberta born 1910 Athens, TN. Died Ohio 1956. Ola born 1916 Athens, TN. Died 1988 Athens TN. Born 1910 and died 1990 both in Athens TN. 3. Barbara Cleage – born 1920 Detroit, MI. Still living! 4. Pearl holding Albert B. Cleage Jr. – son of Pearl Reed and Albert Cleage. Born 1911 Indianapolis, IN. Died 2000 Calhoun, SC. Row 5 1. Pearl with Henry Cleage – son of Pearl Reed and Albert Cleage. Born 1916 in Detroit, MI. Died 1996 in Anderson, SC. 2. Theresa Reed – daughter of Hugh Reed and Blanch Young. Born 1914 Indianapolis, IN. Death information unknown. 3. Charles Gilmer son of Annie Lee Pope and Ludie Gilmer. Born 1922 Milwaukee WI. Died 1992 Los Angeles, Ca. 4. Naomi with Hubert Vincent – son of Naomi Tulane and Hubert Vincent. Born 1923. Died 1994. Both in New York, NY.