Sunday, 17 May 2015

Paducah the unofficial events

I want to remember everything which happened so am trying to find a way to write it down so I remember it. I did find I put Paducah into two categories the official APQS events and the unofficial events. Both of which I loved but we're very different.

First up is quilt bingo!!!

Quilt bingo I hear you ask? Well the lovely Mickey Depre held this event at the paper pieces shop, irene and I had no idea what to expect. We all got a bingo sheet which instead of numbers had words or phrases on it. Things like - lone star, hugs and kisses, block names or quilt names. Mickey then talk us through a huge selection of quilts from her life and at the end of each quilt we got a word or phrase to mark off on our bingo sheet.





After the last quilt one lucky person shouted bingo! She won a copy of Mickeys latest book. We all got a prize though as we were told to feel under our chairs and we all got a $5 gift voucher for the paper pieces shop. Needless to say we all went and spent waaaaay more than 5 dollars! Great marketing!


Next up was a talk at the McCracken public library







How sooper awesome would it be to have quilts hanging in your library? I've been trying to persuade my boss ...
The talk was another which made me see quilts and quilting tradition in America in a different way. It gave me a better appreciation of why quilt history is so important.
The talk was by Bobbi Smith Bryant who spoke movingly of how finding quilts in the family helped her with her genealogy research. Very often the only mention of a woman's maiden name would be on the back of a quilt she had made.
Saving the best till last .... We saw an event advertised on the Paducah visitors website. It said it was and exhibition of quilts relating to the slave era. There was a talk on the Friday morning, a breakfast talk. Righty ho me and Irene were well up for that.
We arrived bright and early as we weren't sure how long it would take us to get there. We were just sitting outside the Hotel Metropolitan which is where the exhibition was being held.
A lovely lady came out and ushered us inside, since we got there so early we deserved a pre talk tour she said! This turned out to be Dr Nancy the curator of the exhibition. What an amazing group of ladies! They get no official funding but they do amazing work ensuring the history of enslaved African Americans is not forgotten, in particular the work of the women. There were many moving contemporary quilts highlighting the use of women as commodities, wet nurses. I didn't get many pictures we were too busy talking and chatting. More women came along and we just had a fabulous time talking quilts and quilt history.
This quilt was a highlight for me though, I love 30s fabrics, this is original feedback fabric, Dr Nancy asked us if there was anything startling about it. We looked and looked, asked about the pattern, 'overall Sam' did that have a significance? Nope not it. Then I spotted it ...
Look closely, the figure on the fabric is 'mammy' ... Blimey. Dr Nancy said that even given ample time most Americans don't notice that, it's so ingrained as an iconic image. It's quite shocking to see now but at the time this wouldn't have raised an eyebrow.

Dr Nancy and her friend exhorted us to document our quilts, even if it is just for ourselves meantime, whatever you craft is important she said, tell your story for it deserves to be heard.

So I will keep on doing that, even if it is just for me, this is my story.

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