One Man’s Trash...

quilt close up

When visiting a friend one day, I noticed her roommate bagging a pile of items she planned to throw away. Although torn and stained from being mishandled over time, I was drawn in by the beautiful gathering of geometric patterns that were reminiscent of what I’d once witnessed at a Gee’s Bend exhibition. When I asked her about the quilt she nonchalantly responded, “Oh, that’s trash. It’s real damaged…something my grandmother had,” and eagerly let me have it. Years later I befriended an elder quilt maker who observed the piece in awe and concluded that lining and fabrics used date back to (and maybe even before) the 1920’s. When my friend passed, the quilt became even more important to me as I felt that her spirit somehow lived within the hand stitching and fabrics that she deeply admired. I now exhibit the quilt along the stairway of my home with one corner folded down so that visitors can witness the intricate details that were created by an ancestor whose name I’ll never know.

Contributed by: Journey Allen
Created by: Uknown
Origin: A trash pile