Dear Bib & Tucker enthusiasts:
We’ve been busy here at the Sew-Op, but that’s no excuse for keeping our fans in the dark! We re-commit (again and again) to keeping the website updated and in good faith, we issue this early summer re-cap:
At the end of June, Sew-Op co-founder, Lillis Taylor, was asked to speak as part of Common Threads, a six part symposium on quilting traditions in Alabama created by the Alabama Folklife Association and funded – in part – by an NEA grant. Taylor was joined by Gail Andrews, Birmingham Museum of Art director and Joyce Cauthen, folklorist and author of a beautiful book about the life of Bettye Kimbrell – a 2008 National Heritage Fellow. Several Sew-Op members came out to support Taylor and even got to see themselves in the slideshow Taylor presented during the talk. The following morning, Mrs. Kimbrell’s daughter led a Cherokee leaf-pounding workshop at Ruffner Mountain and several Sew-Op members attended this free event as well.
During the first full week in July, the Sew-Op participated in two incredible community projects. Sew-Op members plan to continue involvement in both, and there will be opportunities for the community to join us as we deepen these new relationships. First, on July 8th, Bib & Tucker members welcomed Carrie Bloomston and Rhonda Greenberg (former Birmingham residents) of the Happy Flag Project – “a celebration of the Dalai Lama’s visit to Birmingham, AL through handmade prayer flags from around the world”. Sew-Op members found kindred spirits in Bloomston and Greenberg and plan on extending the duo’s work in several flag-making community sessions during August.
Also during the first full week in July, soft-sculpture installation artist and new friend Amanda Browder returned to Birmingham for her second community sewing residency, in preparation for her large-scale commission for the Alys Stephens Center and the new Abroms-Engel Institute of Visual Arts. Magic Chromacity will be on display August 29th-Sept. 5th, with an opening reception on August 29th. Several Bib & Tucker members have grown quite close to Browder during the two sewing residencies and we all heartily agree that community-building should be part of art-making in the 21st century – if possible.
What’s next for the Sew-Op? We will work with Desert Island Supply Co.’s “Exploring Woodlawn” camp on July 22nd and will continue the search for a home of our own, now that we’ve reached a point in membership that merits a committed space for all that’s going on. As always, we encourage visits. For more information about the work we do and how you can be a part, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to be a part of our newsletter (more frequent and up-to-date than the website at this point) send us a message letting us know! Happy sewing!