Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Join Quilters Guild Acadienne on a bus trip to meet the world famous Quilters of Gee's Bend

On March 31, Quilters' Guild Acadienne is hosting a bus trip to visit the world famous quilters of Gee's Bend. This three day road trip will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet these fascinating ladies who have influenced so many quilters with their unique perspective and improvisational style. Their quilts have been exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, and even featured on US postage stamps. Our visit will offer more than you could ever experience by simply viewing their quilts in a museum. We'll visit the Gee's Bend Collective and actually get to see where these ladies gather and quilt. We'll see their quilts up close and get a chance to to talk with them and hear their own stories first hand. We'll even get a chance to sit down and learn their techniques by quilting along with them.

The quilting tradition in Gee's Bend goes back to the 19th century. Perhaps influenced in part by patterned African textiles, female slaves pieced together strips of cloth to make bedcovers. Throughout the post-bellum years and into the 20th century, Gee's Bend women made quilts to keep themselves and their children warm in unheated shacks that lacked running water, telephones and electricity. Along the way they developed a distinctive style, noted for its lively improvisations and geometric simplicity.

Our bus trip is open to the public and will depart from Lafayette, LA on Thursday, March 31 at 7 am and return on Saturday, April 2 around 9:30 pm. We'll be travelling on a comfortable chartered Hotard bus and staying two nights at the Jackson, AL Hampton Inn. No quilters' road trip would be complete without stopping at some quilt shops along the way, so we'll be stopping at 3 quilt shops Thursday and 4 more on the return drive Saturday. Packages range from $270-$518 depending on several options such as inclusion of boxed lunches for 3 days, an extra bus seat to spread out and bring carry on items on the bus or a private hotel room. For more information or to register for the trip, email Jonelle (aka Torch).

Here's a brief summary of the trip:

Thursday, March 31 - Bus departs from Lafayette at 7 am, boxed lunch on bus available
Bus stops at 3 quilt shops - Heirlooms QuiltShoppe, St. Francisville, LA, Mama's Quilt Shop, Independence, LA and The Stitchin' Post, Hattiesburg, MS
Bus arrives in Jackson, LA. Dinner out in Jackson, AL (Pizza Hut)

Friday, April 1 - Bus departs Jackson, AL for Boykin (Gee's Bend).
Visit the Gee's Bend Collective, tour Gee's Bend Quilt Mural Trail. Box lunch available.
Bus returns to Jackson around 6 pm. Dinner out in Jackson (The Fish House)

Saturday, April 2 - Bus departs Jackson at 8:30 am, boxed lunch available.
Bus stops at 4 quilt shops - Block Therapy, Gautier, MS, Coastal Sew and Vac and Quilt Shop, Gulfport,MS, The Fabric Dock, Wiggins, MS, Bright Hopes Quilting, Mandeville, LA
Bus stops at Piccadilly for dinner and returns to Lafayette around 9:30 pm

by Amy Aderman

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