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The ‘art’ of quilting

Published: Sep 21, 2013

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A group of women from diverse backgrounds have been meeting weekly to share their ideas and skills in the “art” of quilting, and now they’re preparing for an exhibition at Doongalik Studios Art Gallery.

The exhibition by the Sew ‘n’ Sew Quilters will feature quilts created by members of the group, who have a wide range of experience. Some have been quilting for 20-plus years. Others are just starting out.

“Quilting in The Bahamas has become popular once again,” said Pam Burnside, manager of Doongalik. “I am happy to see this form of communal activity returning to the country as we can certainly use more of it.”

Burnside said the quilting community is also becoming more integrated into the fine art scene.

“I think that it is important to embrace and showcase those persons who produce high quality work. There is no need for there to be a separation between fine art and folk art because we can all benefit from our creative talents if we focus on excellence,” she said.

Quilting is not only about the craft of quilting. It’s also an important community tradition that provides an opportunity to socialize — the original purpose of quilting circles when they were first formed by women, particularly in island communities whose husbands were out to sea for long periods of time.

The women work independently on their own quilt projects within the group. Sometimes they have formal lessons but more often they spend their time helping each other with a project, whether it has to do with a quilt or a particular charity event. At their meetings, books, movies and news are discussed, jokes are told and treats are shared. The purpose is to have a relaxing and pleasant time together.

“Collectively we are proud to be able to show our work at Doongalik Studios,” said the group’s president, Margaret Finlayson.

The Sew ‘n’ Sew Quilters Exhibition opens on Tuesday, October 8 from 6pm-9pm and runs through Saturday October 19. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday 10am-4pm and on Saturdays 9am-1pm. For more information please contact the gallery at doongalikart@batelnet.bs


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