African American Quilters of Baltimore
On Display June 1st through August 24th 2013Join us for an artist reception!
Friday, August 2nd, from 4pm – 6pm at FACES
Members of the AAQB will be on hand to discuss their work. Following the reception, AAQB member and historian, Vera P. Hall, will give a talk about her Civil War Story quilt. The reception and lecture are free, but space is limited so visit www.fiberartscenter.com to reserve a seat. Just prior to the reception, there will be a 3:30pm unveiling of the Stitching Stories of Freedom Byway Quilt Block: the Cotton Boll. Information about the Byway Quilt Block Trail, a public art project, can be found here.
About the African American Quilters of Baltimore
The African-American Quilters of Baltimore was founded in 1989 by three African American quilters seeking the community of other African American quilters. Their primary goal was to offer support and information for African American quilters in an environment of acceptance and welcome. Since that time, the group has grown in size and diversity and includes quilters of all skill levels, from beginners to professionals. In addition, its members participate in projects in schools, libraries and museums in keeping with our “Each One, Teach One” philosophy. ” Visit them at AAQB.org.
Find more details and photo galleries on the AAQB website at AAQB.org.
“I grew up watching my grandmother sewing and quilting. I became
interested in sewing first and about ten years ago I began quilting as a hobby. I find quilting to be quite relaxing and enjoyable. I have taken and still take classes in quilting and they have been very helpful and informative. I’ve learned about colors, techniques, designs etc. There are always quilt shows showing the beautiful work of others, which really peak my interest and give me new ideas. New tools are always being created to make it easier and quicker for the many steps involved in the art of quilting.”
Bernice Clarke began her prolific quilting career in 1994 when she joined the AAQB. Since joining the guild, she has exhibited her work in numerous venues throughout Maryland and Pennsylvania. Mrs. Clarke was given the great honor of being commissioned by the Maryland Department of Social Services’ Women, Infants, and Children’s program (WIC) to provide three quilts for permanent display in their headquarters building in Baltimore, MD. Mrs. Clarke is an artist whose spirituality and love infuse her work with joy and a committed sense of sharing this gift with everyone.
Vera P. Hall
Former educator and political activist, Vera P. Hall, has also been a textile artist for over 50 years. During her retirement, she has renewed her love of quilting through exploring the legacy of the Baltimore album quilt style; an appliqué method popular in Baltimore in the 1840’s and 50’s. Always interested in history, she has recently been researching and making quilts to tell the story of African Americans during the Civil War. Most recently, she is working on quilts about seamstress and author, Elizabeth Keckly, best known as Mary Todd Lincoln’s dressmaker. She enjoys a good story, and successfully illustrates that theme in many of her quilts.
“My name is Patricia House. I made my very first quit about 10 years ago, but didn’t become a serious quilter until a couple of years ago. My inspiration comes from the beautiful quilts made by Catherine Wooten, who along with Vera Hall have become my mentors. Our small group of quilters, who meet weekly, have been a great source of enjoyment, inspiration, and learning.”
“I started sewing at a very young age and for several years; I used to sew various items of clothing for family and friends, but mostly for my own personal wardrobe. One day I was reading an article in the Woman’s Day magazine that featured a log cabin quilt with step-by-step instructions which I tried, and that was the beginning of my love for quilting. Shortly after, I joined the African American Quilters of Baltimore’s guild and have been a member for several years. The quilting world has evolved so much since that first log cabin quilt and I feel like I still have so much more to learn.”
Mildred C. Johnson
“My interest in quilting started when I was a little girl, about the age of 11. My mother had her living room set upholstered and had some scraps left over. I decided to make a little quilt. Since then I wanted to learn how to quilt. After I retired I decided to take classes. I was at a home show at the community center and met a quilter. She had some of her quilts on display. We talked and she told me she taught quilting classes at Bears Paw. She took my name and phone number. I took several classes at Bears Paw, Seminole, and other places. I enjoy quilting and the different designs you can use to make quilts.”
“I started quilting after attending a sewing retreat in Deep Creek Lake several years ago. Thought I was just going to read. Well, the quilting bugs bit me and now I have made about 12 quilts. My grandmother Mariah made beautiful quilts and my mother is a master at it. So in keeping with the family tradition, here I am. I enjoy meeting with my Mother, my best friend Pat, Vera and Mary each week to work on our craft and give each other encouragement.”
“I have been sewing for over 50 years. I just started quilting about 8 years ago and I love it. I tried not to start because I knew I would love it, and I have no space for any more FABRIC. I enjoy using Mud cloth and Asian fabrics for many of my projects. I am looking forward to the guild’s quilt show coming up this year.”
“I’ve spent most of my adult life in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. In 1995 I began making collages and art quilts. My work is a mélange of pieced fabrics, found objects, buttons, beads, handmade papers, jewelry, lace, and appliqué. It tells a personal story whose themes have universal meaning. These themes include physical and spiritual healing, memorializing loved ones, and rites of passage as they relate to women, and the spiritual aspects of love and sensuality. I am also inspired by the poetry, proverbs, and truisms of varied cultures, African-American folkways, and the art of India and Africa.”
Rosalind Ford Robinson
“Several forces led quilting and me to unite for close to twenty years. I have loved sewing since I was of a single digit age. Skills were acquired throughout secondary school. It was natural for my career to involve sewing. Friends and family steered quilting to me. Cousin Anne, joined AAQB. She invited me to a show. Seconds after viewing the beautiful cloth creations, my interest sparked. A long-time friend Ramona and, Eretta, a co-worker-turned dear friend, fanned the flames. Together we took a quilt making class after work on Fridays. Two years later I completed my first quilt, and have been loving quilting ever since!”
Art quilting is one of my favorite activities. It has challenged me to try things I never imagined and taken me in directions I didn’t expect to go. I spend a lot of my spare time in art museums and reading design books. For me, quilting is like completing a jigsaw puzzle. I have an advantage with these puzzles. I’m the designer, so I know how they fit together. Some designs are simple and can be made quickly, others are very complex. My work includes geometric designs and story quilts made with fabrics from around the world.
“I am a self-taught quilt artist, quilt instructor, and fashion designer. My pictorial wall quilts are known for their detailed and realistic depictions of scenes ranging from the cozy intimacy of a country kitchen to a sunset in the beauty of a colonial flower garden. As a youth growing up in the rural south I always made time to practice my skills and master my craft. Today, I specialize in quilt art. My one-of-a-kind creations showcase a lifetime of development and a deep emotional attachment to my craft. My awards & honors include the National Association of Fashion and Accessory Designs Hall of Fame and the Maryland Historical Society.”