A quilt by Joe Cunningham
72" x 72"
I started thinking about this quilt ten years ago when I was preparing for my first trip to Gees Bend, Alabama to spend a week with the quilters there. I called my acquaintance Lucy Mingo to go over some details and in the conversation I asked what she was working on.
“I got a piece of yellow domestic I’m quilting on,” she said.
I didn’t know what that was, so I waited until I got there to see. “Yellow domestic” was what I called unbleached muslin, and she had quilted it in her signature style of free- form arcs. It was an all-white quilt—a format usually reserved for the fanciest, showiest form of quilting. We became friends on that trip; I visited her several times, admired her beautiful chickens, shared meals and talked about quilts. I asked her permission to do my own version of her yellow domestic quilt.
Finally, 10 years later, I received this beautiful Japanese blue and white wool ikat from Patricia Belyea and knew I had to do something special with it. When another friend, Kevin Womack, sent me a piece of his hand dyed fabric I got the idea to cut that into bias strips and imitate Lucy’s quilting style with bias strips on the blue and white background. The upper part is pieced of several fabrics, another couple of wools from Patricia and a Marimekko black and white.
After quilting it with lines that followed the design, I went back and quilted in a number of Lucy’s chickens.
The quilt, signed with Joe’s embroidered signature, comes with a four-inch hanging sleeve, Certificate of Authenticity, and a custom cotton bag. Shipping and insurance are free to a domestic US address.
Joe Cunningham is an internationally known quilt artist, writer, teacher and lecturer. His quilts have been shown worldwide and are represented in the collections of major museums. He lives in San Francisco, working in his gallery/studio in the South of Market district.