four back-to-school giveaways :: Okan Arts
four back-to-school giveaways

four back-to-school giveaways


This back-to-school giveaway features the book The Quilts of Gee’s Bend by Susan Goodman Rubin. There are four giveaways—each valued at $22.

The story of the Gee’s Bend Quilters is well-known. Descended from slaves, they survived as tenant farmers working a stubby peninsula of land in the Alabama River. Six days a week they toiled and on the seventh they went to church. Somehow the women of Gee’s Bend squeezed in making quilts from scraps of anything.

When the price of cotton fell in the late 1920s, the members of the all-black community lost everything. In 1937 the government bought the Gee’s Bend plantation and divided the land into small farms. With federal help, the locals bought the land and built Roosevelt houses. Poverty still reigned with 10-hour work days, no electricity, and no running water.

From this baleful background, the women of Gee’s Bend continued to pick up needle and thread, and kept quilting. In the 1960s, a visiting civil-rights worker saw their radiant quilts and sent sent some to New York City where they were auctioned off—with the proceeds benefitting the Gee’s Bend community. A business was born, Freedom Quilting Bee, and soon quilts were sold in Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bonwit Teller.

In 2002, Bill Arnett and his son Matt introduced the “eye-poppingly gorgeous” quilts to the art world where they made a meteoric rise to fame—exhibiting in Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Whitney in New York. In the last 15 years, the quilts have been featured in umpteen museum exhibits, art gallery shows, coffee table books, and more—including commemorative stamps by the US Post Office.This book was written for young readers of ten or eleven—the same age when many girls of Gee’s Bend made their first quilts. The thin volume combines history and an inspirational account of remarkable American women who made world-changing scrappy quilts.
THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED. The winners are Karen F of San Jose CA, Barbara H of Springdale AR, Barbara M of Buena Park CA, and Ginger R of Seattle WA.

To participate in the Back-To-School giveaway, answer this question in the Comment Box below: How have the quilts of Gee’s Bend touched you?

HOW THIS GIVEAWAY WORKS: The 2017 Back-To-School giveaway drawing will be held at midnight PST on September 30, 2017. Okan Arts Giveaways are open to US residents (sorry to my Canadian and international friends), 18 and older, void where prohibited. One entry per person. Four lucky winners will be chosen with a random number drawing for the The Quilts of Gee’s Bend book. The winners will be notified within 24 hours. Each winner must respond within one week of notification or her/his giveaway will be forfeited. A list of Okan Arts giveaway winners can be obtained at any time from Okan Arts. Thanks for participating!

To buy this book on Amazon +click here

To learn more and see photos of more Gee’s Bend quilts +click here

Thank you ABRAMS for the donation of the books!

This is an unsponsored giveaway with no compensation given to Okan Arts.

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43 comments to “four back-to-school giveaways”

  1. Maryjo says:

    My grandmother was much like the Gee Bend ladies in that during the Depression she used every scrap of fabric she had to make quilts to keep her children (my mother & 2 other(s warm in a home that was sometimes cold & drafty. I am the proud owner of one of these that 5 generations of our family have slept under. I would enjoy reading this book.

  2. Shirley Whitcomb says:

    Gee’s Bend quilts reflect the heart and soul of their makers while using what was available to bring a little beauty into their world. They inspire me to look inside myself to create quilts and textiles that come from me.

  3. Linda Petersensmith says:

    To me the women of Gee’s Bend helped me move into quilting on a passionate level. There quilts are full of emotions, not perfectly aligned, like life just perfect. I thrive on improv!

  4. Sheryl says:

    I love how they obviously cared how each piece of fabric had its place in the quilt. The love shines through.

  5. Eddi Baird says:

    I have always had an appreciation for “scraps”, even more so after viewing the expo that was at the Tacoma Art Museum of Gee’s Bend quilts. Creative and irregular.

  6. Janet Wright says:

    Gee Bend quilts have influenced the Modern Quilt movement and also the concept of recycling textiles. We are so lucky to have everything we need to quilt–creativity seems to blossom when we have “just enough”. We are working on getting the Gee Bend quilters to come to our island museum in the future.

  7. Linda Fleming says:

    The Gee’s Bend quilts have inspired me to start recycling my old and misfitting clothes (especially jeans) and soft furnishings into quilts and soft toys.

  8. Robin Medley says:

    I would love to read more about the ladies of Gee Bend an quilts Thank You

  9. Robin Medley says:

    I am not alone in this world. many I am sure are just as interested..I would love to read more about the ladies of Gee Bend an quilts Thank You

  10. soozi says:

    i appreciate fine, precise workmanship. Gee’s bend quilts do not fall in that
    category.. i appreciate Gee’s quilts for their soul. i feel a connection when i see
    these quilts and want to know the stories that are sewn into these pieces of
    art.

  11. Gin says:

    Gee’s Bend quilts remind me that beauty can come from that which is discarded or overlooked & reminds me to have an open heart and mind.

  12. Peggy Johnson says:

    From what I have seen the ladies of Gees Bend used such bravery in their design and color sense. I have been encouraged to try something new and different.

  13. Barbara Minton says:

    How have the quilts of Gee’s Bend touched you? When I saw the Gee’s Bend DVD, I was amazed by the singing in the background. I also was amazed by the joy the women felt in their fellowship as they quilted together.

  14. audrey says:

    I love how the Gees Bend quilts have so much heart and soul. They aren’t all about perfection, but about what feels right and good. It has definitely opened my eyes to the idea of listening to our quilts and not worrying about the correct way of doing things!

  15. Janet Schayer says:

    Oh, yes they have touched me. I would love to be able to quilt like that some day.

  16. Karen Friedrichs says:

    They touch me by sending out the message of “Just Do It.”

  17. Katrine Eagling says:

    The simplicity of the designs and the need to create art are what I love best about these women and their quilts.

  18. Jackie says:

    I had a much greater sense of the Gee’s bend ladies after discussions with Rita and Joe at my first Joe Retreat!

  19. Cathy Harvey says:

    I was introduced to Gees Bend quilts by a friend. They’ve inspired me on my quilt making journey. Love the use of clothing woven into each quilts story. Reminds me of the quilt that you made Patricia and showed us at our workshop.

  20. debby says:

    The quilters of Gees Bend have had a great influence on my quilting and art. I did a series of quilts that were influenced by their work, called The Housetop Quilts.

  21. Robin Shilman says:

    I love how simple the quilts were but how everything has meaning.

  22. Leona says:

    I had the privilege of taking a class with some of the Gees Bend ladies a few year ago and they were amazing. I love how they have no rules and very improvisational

  23. Mary D says:

    Ah such inspiration from these ladies. You can see the influence of their work in many quilt artist today. I am planning a trip to visit the ladies of Gee’s Bend to spend some time sitting and working among all of their creativity.

    tushay3 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  24. Barbara Grandon says:

    I just had the great honor of seeing the Gee’s Bend quilts on display at the De Young in San Francisco Golden Gate park.

  25. Nicole Sender says:

    The quilts of Gee’s Bend are a source on inspiration. The quilts are bright and cheery. They exhibit resourcefulness and creativity. Such beauty from fabric scraps.

  26. Andrea Bursaw says:

    Seeing the Boston MFA exhibit of Gees Bend quilts was like visiting the families, sitting with the quilt makers and hearing their stories. All quilts should be created with this abiding joy.

  27. Ellee says:

    Gee’s Bend quilts have taught me it’s okay to be free with my piecing rather than locked into anyone else’s perception of what a quilt “should” be.

  28. Barbara Hancock says:

    Something very deep in my heart stirs each time I see quilts from these women. The human spirit cannot be suppressed by abject poverty. It has to be expressed. The women of Gee’s Bend made these beautiful quilts to prove they mattered. Each quilt pieced with little bits of the scraps of their lives.
    What a joy!

  29. Gretchen says:

    Actually, this is the first I’ve heard of Gee’s Bend quilts. I’ve seen many other historical quilts and some may have been Bee’s Bend without my knowledge. I’m just amazed and in awe over the story. The history in quilts is what started my interest in quilting and it never stops surprising me. It’s all such an inspiration.

  30. Linda Levy says:

    I have been fortunite to visit Gees Bend and these remarkable women.

  31. Cynthia says:

    I was fortunate enough to see the quilts at the Whitney and would love to have a copy of the book to remember it by.

  32. jane rosenfeld says:

    making something useful from what you have available makes for a lively and profoundly personal aesthetic. It can connect easily with so many others, even without the moving backstory.

  33. babs ratner says:

    First learned of the G’s Bend Quilts from an article on the exhibition in NYC. Their artistic way of seeing and creating shape and color affected my own creative process. I felt new rules of quilting opened me up to wider and less restricted boundaries. Definitely was a turning point in the joy I find in this craft/art.

  34. Edith Bieri-Hanselmann says:

    For me the Gee’s Bend quilts are what quilts are about and that even very modern and timeless

  35. Brenda says:

    I’ve been amazed at what these women have created with limited resources. I am reminded that I don’t need the latest and greatest fabrics to make beautiful quilts.

  36. Laurie says:

    the Gee’s Bend quilters have touched and impacted my quilting directly, through books and web info about them, and through other quilters who have been inspired by them and who, in turn, inspire me. their quilts really turned my thinking upside-down – perfection can be boring! imperfection and making-do are fascinating!

  37. Kathy Sukeena says:

    Honest art. So beautiful; so much history; so ahead of their time, by necessity. I’m inspired to save, recycle, and reuse.

  38. Linda Levy says:

    Have been priveleged to meet some of these amazing women and see their work!

  39. MONA says:

    I love the ideas and influence of the Gee Bend’s quilts. They have inspired me to be more creative in my quilting. I’ve started using recycled fabrics in my quilts which gives another layer in the stories of my quilts. Love that!

  40. Mary says:

    I am new to quilting. Stories like these, open my eyes to the rich history of the art of making quilts.

  41. Michelle D says:

    The Quilts of Gee’s Bend rocked my world! Every chance I’ve had to see some aspect of those quilts has been a meditation for me – Atlanta’s High Museum with a dear friend, Tacoma Art Museum second show, audio CD, Sister’s, OR Quilt show with my own 2 sisters, and now this new book. A gift to my soul.

  42. Barbara Mead says:

    I just discovered the Gees bend quilt at the beginning of summer. Our quilt teacher is having the class make their own quilt from a pattern of one of the Gees Bends quilts. It has been so much fun to had beautiful colors together in a scrappy way. I love it and want to learn more about this part of history.

  43. barbara Snider says:

    Thank you for the wonderful class in the San Juans!

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