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Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Henry Ford Museum Features Improvisational Quilts

The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, will display an exhibit of nearly 30 improvisational quilts by Susana Allen Hunter of Wilcox County, Alabama. The exhibit, entitled "Quilting Genius 2: The Improvisational Quilts of Susana Hunter," begins on February 15 and will run through April 27, 2008.

Hunter is from the same region that created the well-known "Gee's Bend" African-American quilts, and shares a similar style. Dating from the 1930s to the 1970s, Hunter's quilts partake of the humble materials and syncopated rhythms of rural southern African-American quilts.

Susana and her husband Julius farmed most of their lives and raised their children in a 2-room house without running water or electricity. The quilts, made from leftover materials such as worn clothing and feedsacks, were made for the practical purpose of keeping the family warm. They are also extraordinarily beautiful.

One of the events associated with this 10-week exhibit will be an "Ideas and Innovations Forum" all day on March 15 at the museum. More information is available by calling (313) 982-6001 or on the web at

Friday, February 01, 2008


Ricky Tims' Rhapsody Quilts

Ricky Tims’ Rhapsody Quilts
By Ricky Tims
C&T Publishing, 2007
Paperbound, 96 pages
Retail: $27.95

If you’re going to undertake to make one of Ricky Tims’ Rhapsody Quilt designs, you’re going to need to make a real commitment. A Rhapsody Quilt, as invented by Ricky, is “a medallion-style quilt that utilizes a symmetrical design in a reversed and mirror-imaged arrangement.” Got that? Well even if the words don’t convey it, the end result is stunning, if a lot of work. These highly decorative, baroque designs use templates, appliqué, and curved piecing to dramatic elaborated effects. A blend of Hawaiian medallions, Lone Star, and reverse appliqué styles, these quilts will no doubt try your patience in the making, but will reward you handsomely with a bold, dramatic style that will be the centerpiece of whatever room it is hung in.

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