While I was at the Tucson Quilters Guild Quilt Show in January, I listened to a presentation from the art quilter, Joe Cunningham. Prior to this presentation I had never heard of Joe Cunningham. Although I am not likely to make a Joe Cunningham-style quilt in the near future, Joe’s words and Joe’s style of quilting has struck a cord in me. And, I will never look at bias tape the same again! Joe’s presentation was titled, “Men and the Art of Quiltmaking.” Joe stated that, while quilting has been practiced almost exclusively by women, a few men have crept into the realm from time to time. Joe told his own story and showed his own quilts while providing some historical insight into men and quilting. My only regret was not taking in Joe’s second presentation later that day, “My Life in Quilts.” In Joe’s second presentation, he was not only going to discuss how and why he got started making quilts and why he is still making them today, but he was going to be bringing his guitar and playing some quilt-related songs. I am sure that the second presentation would have been much like this YouTube clip.
Other YouTube clips:
These are some of the quilts that Joe shared during his presentation.
The following has been taken from the quilt show brochure.
Joe Cunningham began making quilts professionally in 1979, after a ten-year career as a musician in Michigan. His early mentors were steeped in the history and traditions of quilts, leading Cunningham to a life of study in quilt history and a love of traditional technique. Over the years his quilts have evolved into a unique, personal style. His quilts are in the permanent collections of museums, as well as in numerous private collections. Cunningham’s 12 books on quilts include the first biography of a living quiltmaker, the first book on men in quilts and essays for museum shows. His column for the national magazine The Quilt Life is called “Biased and Edgy.” He has been seen on the HGTV series Simply Quilts with Alex Anderson, the PBS series Sewing with Nancy and on The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims. He lectures on quilts nationwide and teaches regularly at conferences across the country.
If you ever hear that Joe Cunningham is going to be delivering a presentation near where you live, don’t miss out on it!