The Quilting Bee, 19th Century Americana
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“There are times when an idea for a painting will linger for years in my mind before it is ever committed to canvas. I’ve thought about this painting for at least 15 years. It all began when my mother showed me a quilt her grandmother had made as a little girl in the late 1800s. I was amazed by its detail and beauty. I began to research quilt-making and discovered the wonderful American tradition of quilting bees and I knew I had my painting.
“At a quilting bee, women would have family and neighbors gather to finish a quilt. It was a real community event. Often a quilt was made to mark a special occasion, such as a wedding or an upcoming journey. The older, more experienced women would do most of the quilt work, but as in my painting, the less experienced would learn the craft alongside the veterans. The quilt in this painting is the actual quilt my great-grandmother made as a little girl, which made the creative process all the more personal for me.”