Housetop (Quilts of Gee’s Bend)

English: Women from Gee's Bend work on a quilt...

Image via Wikipedia

The view up here
shows us from where we’ve come.

Enslaved and used, not
the worth of a human being.
Recognition blurred–no one saw into our hearts.
Human!  We are human!
Like you–just like you…
Wanting the same safety, respect, love and care.

Tools of cloth and thread,
carefully, lovingly
stitched, tell a story.
Our story, our journey,
is spelled out clearly
in these designs of
our making, of bricks
and housetops, scraps
and bits of worn-out
leftover, nothing-going
to-waste garments.

Hand-sewn and quilted by
Ma Willie, Annie Mae,
the Pettways, Ella Mae
and so many others.
Women, strong women
speaking as loud as
their hands would allow.
A legacy of stripes,
triangles, hopsacking,
corduroy, knits, denim
and twill left for us to
admire and remember
the quilters of Gee’s Bend
and their message of hope
and perseverance. 

Strength and fortitude
carried us up here–now
we can see where we’ve
been and how far we’ve come.

Presented by Victoria C. Slotto, Fabric of Our Lives: dVerse Poets:  http://dversepoets.com/2011/12/10/fabric-of-our-lives-dverse-poetics/

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34 Comments

  1. this carries the message of hope in a powerful way…esp. loved…speaking as loud as
    their hands would allow..also love the intro…the view, showing where they come from..nicely..”woven..” smiles

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  2. Women, strong women
    speaking as loud as
    their hands would allow. -> so powerful, a time when women had no rights. wait! there are places where women have no rights at all still.. :(

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  3. nice like how you delved into their story a bit…and highlighted the hope…and the story from wence that grew out of…our greatest hope comes out of our moments of greatest adversity it seems…whata cool way to share the journey too…well penned…

    brian @ http://www.waystationone.com

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  4. This is such a beautiful tribute to these heroic women. Isn’t it marvelous to see how they approached their difficult times? Thanks for this one, Gayle.

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    • Yes, they faced their obstacles by creating beautiful art that told their stories…I would absolutely love to have one of those quilts…

      Thanks for an inspiring prompt, Victoria.

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  5. love their courage and messages of love and perseverance ~

    thanks for your kind words in my blog ~ hope all is well ~

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    • I do too..so inspiring to me.

      You’re very welcome, Grace. And I see you have a new blog that you are writing from…I’ll have to have a visit.

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  6. This is a nice to tribute to the beautiful and inspiring work of these women.

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  7. sweetopiagirl

     /  December 10, 2011

    Reblogged this on Inspiredweightloss.

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  8. ManicDdaily

     /  December 10, 2011

    Agree with all–wonderful response, historic but heart-felt. K.

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  9. Love this and how true “A legacy of stripes, triangles, hopsacking,
    corduroy, knits, denim and twill”. My own grandmothers quilts were made out of pieces of fabric left over from her own clothes. Beautiful!

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  10. Androgoth

     /  December 11, 2011

    Thank you Gayle this is another fine
    example of your wonderful art of poetry :)

    Androgoth XXx

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  11. Filled with such emotion and empowerment!

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  12. I’ve often thought of quilting as an allegory for life. You capture that essence so well. You always do. :)

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  13. We weave what life throws at us – and sometime it for a better quilt than we know

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  14. You do them honour, Claudia – and honour is deserved.

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  15. Sorry, Bodhirose I just read Claudia’s and my fingewrs ran away! Oh for an edit facility on comments!

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    • Haha…oh, how many times I have wished for an edit choice on my comments! But many thanks on the lovely compliment, Viv. These women are so deserving of our honor…you are so right.

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  16. I have several quilts that was lovingly made … I have a special one my grandmother made from material of clothes she created for me … I can remember each piece of fabric all these years later!

    Delightful tribute ~~

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  17. “speaking as loud as
    their hands would allow.” were my favorite lines, too! You’ve stitched together a beautiful poem here, Gayle! I used to live close to Paducah, KY and they have a quilting museum there. Some of the quilts were unbelievable and breath-taking work. I never much got into sewing, but I surely do admire those who can make such lasting and practical items. P.S. I like the “snowflakes” on your page! :)

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    • I would love to see a showing of quilts–I love quilts…especially those made long ago.

      Thanks, Corina..I’m glad you like the poem and the snowflakes. :) Don’t they make it festive over here.

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  18. I think women have spoken throughout time by the use of their crafts skills..Women have indeed beeen the strength and fortitude in every nation As the Female energies once again take hold around our Earth I hope that it will indeed carry us through..
    .. Loved this with the added bonus of the photo…..
    Blessings.. x

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    Reply
    • It will be interesting to see the shift that may come about as female energy prevails. At least I would like to see what transpires should it come to pass. Thank you, Sue Dreamwalker. xoxo

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