The quilt that I chose to write about is called “Single Irish Chain”—Nine-Block Variation made by Maggie Benning in the 1950’s. Maggie was born in the year of 1891 -=and died in the year of 1985.
I see three main sections of this quilt. The first most eye catching to me is the blue background with the squares arranged in crossover diamond shapes. This diamond shaped pattern looks like it was laid on top of the background. The background is like a frame for the quilt, it uses longer pieces of fabric and a lighter color to stand out from the main focal point. An interesting thing about this quilt is that the bottom left hand section of the diamond section has a different background. It is still blue but in pieces instead of a smooth background. This creates a difference in the pattern. Within the entire quilt, there is stitching in wave like lines. The quilt is not perfect but that makes it special.
I believe that this quilt looks the way it does because of the small stitching used throughout the quilt, the repetitive use of colours and the repetitive use of square or rectangular shapes. The square on the lower right side disrupts the pattern and almost seems to form a new pattern. The patterns are so similar yet so different. The brown square is the connection between the background and the foreground of the blue squares.
Like most other quilts made in Gee’s bend I believe that this was made of various fabric originally used for other purposes. This quilt was made by a mother of two children so it would make sense to use the clothing that the children grew out of.
In looking at all of the quilts in Gee’s Bend I see a lot of time and effort put into these artworks.