Teri put me onto Gee's Bend Quilts, and what a compliment! Thanks Teri. You are my new best friend!
I've always loved the raw, the utility, the scrap. I've seen African American quilts before and been hugely impressed by their vitality. Early Australian Wagga's can be a bit similar, though usually sombre in colour on account of the fabric (often) being tailor's samples or suiting scraps. Once again, it's the 'building' of a piece that gives a certain directness to the outcome. Evolved rather than planned or orchestrated.
Go have a look at the Wrapping Cloths from the Chohan Dynasty in Korea for a similar though world's apart sense of movement and dynamo hum. I've scanned Google for an appropriate link, but can't find much. I have a book called 'Rapt in Colour' which is worth buying sight unseen, it's packed with wonders to change your perception. It changed mine anyway... or the exhibition did. It really did totally change my method of working, and whilst you mightn't recognise my work as being of the genre, it stems from the exhibition and the overwhelming sense of discovery in engendered. I could say that these Wrapping Cloths are as incredible and important as the Amish quilts. As modern. I think the Choson dynasty was around about our Victorian era...?
I was going to put a link to the Australian Quilt Register's Wagga info page too, but I disagree with their synopsis of the history so I'm not! I've been teaching and listening to stories about Wagga's for a very long time, and believe the origin and perpetuation of the name to be broader than their story.
I've just got a good photo of my earlier Wagga's from Robyn Jacobs which I'll scan and post . Soon. They were heavily embroidered, and I still teach the method, though I have changed my own approach.
It's all good fun isn't it? This sewing caper? We love it don't we.