Font Size
Return to Previous Page

A

Appliqué quilt: A quilt with a top made of cut-out pieces of fabric that have been sewn on top of background fabrics. “Appliqué” is the French word for “applied.”

Asymmetry: A lack of exact repetition between the opposite sides of a form.


B

Back: The underside of a quilt.

Batting: The soft middle layer of a quilt that is between the top and the back. It is usually made of cotton and provides warmth.

Block: A rectangular or square section of a quilt.


C

Civil Rights Movement: A movement that aimed to abolish racial discrimination against African Americans. It occurred from 1955–68.

Complementary colors: Pairs of contrasting colors: red and green, yellow and violet, blue and orange.

Contrast: A design principle that involves the use of opposite effects or shapes near each other to add tension or drama to a work of art.


E

Elevation: A drawing of the outside walls of a building (the front, back, and each of the sides).


F

Farm Security Administration (FSA), Office of War Information : A program created as part of the New Deal whose goal was to combat rural poverty. The FSA was first created as the Resettlement Administration. Its photography program (1935–44) documented the challenges of rural poverty.

Freedom Quilting Bee: A sewing cooperative established in Rehoboth (just north of Gee’s Bend) in 1966 that employed women from the local area who produced quilts and other sewn products for department stores in the North.


G

Great Depression: An era in U.S. history defined by an economic downturn, which is often associated with the stock market crash on October 29, 1929.


H

Harlem Renaissance: A movement, centered in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, in which artists, philosophers, and other intellectuals found new ways to explore the experiences of African Americans. The movement, which lasted from the 1920–30s, produced a wealth of literature, drama, music, visual art, dance, as well as new ideas in sociology, historiography, and philosophy.


N

New Deal: The name that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave to the programs he initiated from 1933–38. These programs aimed to relieve poverty, help the economy recover, and reform the financial system during the Great Depression in the United States.


P

Pieced quilt; Patchwork quilt: A quilt whose top is made from bits of fabric stitched together to form patterns and borders often with a geometric motif.

Piecing:The process of stitching together separate pieces of fabric to create a larger cloth, such as a quilt top.

Plan: A view of a room or building that is seen as if the roof has been removed and someone is above the building looking straight down onto the rooms (also called a floor plan).


Q

Quilting: The sewing that holds the top layer, the middle filling layer (batting), and the bottom layer (back). It makes the quilt more durable and also traps air between the layers of cloth, which provides insulation and warmth.


R

Reflective symmetry: (also called bilateral or mirror symmetry) — When the size, shape, and arrangement of parts of the left and right sides or the top and bottom of a composition or object are the same in relation to an imaginary center dividing line.


S

Screenprinting: A process that uses a fine cloth mesh stretched over a frame, with parts of the mesh sealed, to create an image (often using stencils). Ink is pushed through the unsealed areas onto paper or fabric underneath, creating a screenprinted image.

Section: A view of the interior of a room or building that is seen as if the building has been cut in half and someone is looking straight into the interior.

Strings: A term used among Gee’s Bend quiltmakers to describe wedge-shaped pieces of fabric.

Strip quilt: A type of pieced quilt made by sewing long rectangular pieces of cloth together to make a quilt top.

Syncopation: A temporary displacement of the regular metrical accent in music caused typically by stressing the weak beat; in quiltmaking, a break in pattern.


T

Top: The side of the quilt that is presented outward.


W

Work-clothes quilt : A quilt made of reused work clothes such as denim pants and overalls, and cotton or flannel shirts.


V

Value: Degree of lightness on a scale of grays from black to white.


 

Return to Previous Page