One of the favorite activities of the Blandings boys is building forts in their rooms. As any parent knows, the going up of the fort is far more interesting than the taking down and the putting away. Fort building usually requires a lot of blankets. Two of my grandmother's quilts are available for construction.
I'm not a quilter, but as a needle pointer I feel a sort of kinship to anyone who stitches regardless of the medium.
My grandmother made quilts for each of her children when they married and each grandchild when he or she was born. A harbinger of beloved things to come, mine is yellow.
Mr. Blandings maternal grandmother was a quilter as well.
My favorite parts are the signatures.
Anyone who holds any of these homemade treasures dear to their heart surely is interested in Gee's Bend and the history those quilts and quilt makers represent.
There are two new exhibits in Kansas City at the Belger Art Gallery. The first, "Inspiration: African American Quilts from the Collection of Maude Wahlman" features quilts collected by Wahlman who has been gathering quilts and studying their symbols for decades.
The second, "Interpretation: Silver Screen Quilts by Sun Smith-Feret" who has studied Wahlman's work and created quilts blending the traditional symbolism with elements of popular American movies.
I have not seen the exhibit, but I am always intrigued by any event the Belger is hosting. The Belger Family owns Belger Cartage here in Kansas City, which basically moves big things. It's not uncommon for someone to use it in the vernacular here as in, "I spent so much my bill is going to be delivered by Belger Cartage." The Belger family has an outstanding collection of modern art that is displayed in their corporate offices. In addition, they have dedicated themselves to collecting a vast amount of pieces of a limited number of artists. They own one of the largest collections of Jasper John's works in the country. Last year I had the pleasure of being the only one in the gallery when the John's collection was on display and received a charming and informative tour by it's director, Mo Dickens. His easy manner and subtle Southern diction enchanted me and eased any fear that he was judging my ignorant but inquisitive nature.
The Belger Arts Center is located in the Crossroad District and is open Monday through Friday from 8 - 4:30. Private and small group tours are available by appointment by contacting the Gallery.