The MOCAD Quilting Bee project launches full steam

arts / Article

January 30, 2015 by Rosie Sharp

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Guest artist Theadra Fleming talks about one of her signature log cabin quilts.

Everyone’s going to pieces over at the MOCAD’s Mobile Homestead, where Radical Scavengers: the MOCAD Quilting Bee Project kicked off on Sunday, January 25th, with a meet-and-greet that commences a community collaboration of quilt-makers, fiber artists and rank novices—and everyone in between.

A diverse group of women (and man) were on hand for the project's kickoff! People brought work-in-progress and family heirlooms to spark ideas.

The project–which will be up and running every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through May 24th–is a coordinated effort between Amy Corle, MOCAD’s curator of education and public engagement, and artist Addie Langford. Langford kicked off the inaugural show-and-tell with a walk through her personal collection of quilts, which included family heirlooms from her Appalachian roots, and a genuine Gee’s Bend quilt.

Addie Langford has been tireless in her co-facilitation of this project, and so engaging in her presentations, I failed to get a very good picture of her! Addie Langford has been tireless in her co-facilitation of this project, and so engaging in her presentations, I failed to get a very good picture of her!

Amy Corle (left) in conversation with one of the attendees. Amy Corle (left) in conversation with one of the attendees.

The ongoing series will be an exploration and peer-to-peer learning adventure in sewing and quilting. It will feature guest artists–including native Detroiter and local superstar Theadra Fleming, who teaches beginner sewing and quilting to an ever-increasing group of devotees—and national names in the world of exhibition quilting like Deborah Hyde. You might even catch a session on screen-printing and figurative quilting by yours truly!

Fleming (left) and some visitors from Germany. Fleming (left) and some visitors from Germany.

Unquestionably, there will be many opportunities for people of all abilities learn, and collaborate on projects that will take shape according to the will of the group over time. This Saturday, starting at 3 p.m., there will be an informal introduction to beginner sewing, great for people looking to get a foothold.

A baseball-themed quilt that one of the participants made for her son when he left for college. A baseball-themed quilt that one of the participants made for her son when he left for college.

This effort to engage the community in a long-term project based in the Mobile Homestead is directly in line with the sculpture’s concept of creating a space for the public to actively engage. It is also fitting that this art of the domestic realm is unfolding in a space modeled after artist Mike Kelley’s actual home in the Detroit suburbs. What comes of it remains to be seen, as this series unfolds one piece at a time.

Come join the fun!

MOCAD: 4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-6622; www.mocadetroit.org Mobile Homestead Hours: Friday - Sunday: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.; 313-832-4944

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