Tuesday, October 23, 2012

MQA Fall Gathering in Cleveland

The Cotton Row Quilters in Cleveland, Mississippi, hosted the Fall Gathering of Mississippi Quilt Association this past weekend. We have three Gatherings a year, with the Spring and Fall meetings moving about the state, and the June meeting located more centrally in the Jackson area. I had never visited this beautiful Delta region of our state, and we were treated to a warm welcome with lots of music and local culture to make our trip memorable. It is always rewarding to hear people brag about their particular area, and we enjoyed observing the deep pride these residents had in the Delta. Cotton bolls decorated the tables, and we saw fields of cotton ready to be harvested as well as huge bundles--(I don't know the new terminology for cotton bales!) ready to be taken to the gins.
      The bed-turning portion of the program featured a collection of quilts made by the late master quilter Martha Skelton, a collection that will not be seen again. These quilts had been borrowed from their current owners solely for creating one last exhibit of her work. MQA produced a book in 2008 about Martha's life and her quilts, and University Press recently turned over a large number of these books to MQA. They make great gifts, and guilds are buying copies to place in libraries across the state.
     Ethel Wright Mohamed's daughter, Carol Ivy, Curator of the Ethel Wright Mohamed Stitchery Museum, called Mama's Dream World, was at the Gathering to show us pictures and books about her mother's unique stitched pictures.  Mohamed's work is housed in the old home place in Belzoni, Mississippi. Mohamed is often called Mississippi's Grandma Moses of stitchery, and has pieces in the Smithsonian Institution.

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