American quilt making exhibition

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An exhibition featuring American quilt making has recently opened in Beijing. From patching torn clothes and quilts to unique artistic creations, the art form is seen in many cultures.

The exhibition is being held at the Chinese Museum of Women and Children and has seen artists from China and the States gather to display their work and take part in forums.

"The Sum of Many Parts: 25 Quilt Makers in 21st Century America" was conceived and sponsored by the US Embassy in Beijing and jointly developed and managed by Arts Midwest and South Arts. Chinese clothing company Fujian Septwolves also provided funding for the exhibition.

An exhibition featuring American quilt making has recently opened in Beijing.

"The Sum of Many Parts" provides a view not only of the rich quilt making tradition in the United States, but also of American social and community life.

Edna J. Patterson Petty’s work "Out of the Box" was designed to break out of the traditional square or rectangular shape of a quilt. She used a collage layering technique to create the original design and says she draws ideas from her everyday life.

He said, "When I was young what I did was not creating but helping my mother."

More than a snapshot of a single, contemporary moment however, quilt making is a vessel that has emerged from rich and age-old traditions.

Chinese quilt making Artist Jin Yuanshan has also been invited to showcase her work at the exhibition. Each flower on this quilt is embroidered with multiple layers of cloth in different colours.

An exhibition featuring American quilt making has recently opened in Beijing. 

Jin Yuanshan, quilt-making artist, said, "I use the Duixiu embroidery technique which belongs to the Miao people. The style is very Chinese. I made this one in my spare time, which took seven years to complete, because all of the materials are collected from cast-offs."

Quilt making covers a wide range of arts and skills and has been part of civilization throughout human history. Although the art now has turned mainly from practical to artistic, it can still remind people of the talents required and the importance of making life as colour as it can be.

The exhibition takes its title from an Aristotle quote, who said more than 2,000 years ago "The whole is greater than the sum of its many parts." Although the Greek philosopher was not talking about quilts, the exhibits here make the point very clear.

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