3 Epic Days of Quilting — Day 1: Bold Expressions: African American Quilts

Anyone who has spent some time in Seattle in the past few months has likely seen a Metro bus go by with an advertisement for “Bold Expressions: African American Quilts from the Collection of Corrine Riley”, which ran from June 14th-October 7th, 2012.


October 5th started off three epic days of quilting for me. The Fri, Sat, Sun quilting extravaganza started with a journey to the Bellevue Art Museum with two of my best friends, Arielle and Tsige. It was the first time any of us had been to this museum. We hopped on a bus in Downtown Seattle and arrived at our destination only a half hour later. A fun fact for anyone who is interested in checking out future exhibits at the Bellevue Art Museum – the first Friday of the month is free admission. We hit up the museum on the first Friday of October and on the third to last day the exhibit was in town. Lucky us!


The exhibit displayed over fifty quilts made by African American women between 1910 and the 1970s. The quilts were composed of a variety of materials ranging from work shirts to cotton fabric to corduroy to flour sacks. Seeing these quilts reminded me what a variety of fabrics can be used to make a quilt.


My favorite quilt of the day was a simple white and blue quilt made with half square triangles.


I’m a sucker for just about anything made with half square triangles and this exhibit was filled with beautiful quilts that showcased different ways to use HSTs.

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While there were many things to ponder while viewing this exhibit, the true question of the day was: How many different poses can Tsige strike in front of quilts? As you can see, her creative poses started as soon as we arrived… Can you tell she’s a theater kid?


I’m so glad we were able to see this exhibit before it left town and learn more about this country’s rich quilting history.

The quilts inspired me to try out more improvisational quilting techniques. What about you?

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