Royal Queens / Textiles at the WG on Cottage

Artist Statement-

Featured artist Alpha Bruton is a painter and installation artist, Bruton synthesizes aspects of theater, sculpture, and other two-dimensional forms. Her work has been exhibited in numerous venues in the United States and Internationally. Her current work in folk textile/quilt projects reflect the following study. Pine Burrs, Crazy Quilt, Jacob’s Ladder, Nine Patch, quilters of previous generations saved scraps of fabrics from dresses, aprons, or shirts out of necessity to use in their quilts, creating the unintended, yet still special, tradition of quilts holding special memories and connections to people in our families. The artist gathered scrapes from family members and fellow artists who responded to a call for scrapes. She also suggested a paragraph or two describing the importance of the contributing fabric. Serving to communicate and reinforce cultural narratives.

Pine Burr Quilt Pattern, variation has a three-dimensional look, this quilt pattern is unique to African Americans, Alabama and the woman slaves of Gee’s Bend plantation of Alabama.  The collection starts in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, hand stitched quilts designed by these women, provided markers for leading blacks from the south to the north.

Nine Patch Block- Nine-patch quilts children often learned to sew by making those simple blocks, by the 20th century, there are only a handful of basic Nine-Patch blocks with hundreds of cousins. And, as with families, cousins often bear little resemblance to each other. 

Jacob’s ladder a variation it is dated back to the 1830’s when women were most active in the formative years of the abolitionist movement. This pattern eventually became known as the Underground Railroad block, but was not published as such until after 1870’s. Quilts in this pattern were often hung outside to indicate a safe house for runaway slaves.

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