Time Travel Tuesday: Quilts of Gee’s Bend

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By Loretta Pettway

I often think about the quits of Gee’s Bend, but I don’t think I’ve ever shared it them on Brown Paper Bag. The quilts are a major inspi­ra­tion for me, and the Gee’s Bend Col­lec­tive has inspired projects that I’m work­ing on today. (Take the Sam­pler col­lab­o­ra­tive project, for instance). Unlike more tra­di­tional quilt­ing com­po­si­tions, the women cre­at­ing bold shapes, less rigid designs that are rem­i­nis­cent of early abstract paintings.

If you aren’t famil­iar with these quilts, they were cre­ated by a group of African Amer­i­can women liv­ing in Gee’s Bend, Alabama. The com­mu­nity was the site of a cot­ton plan­ta­tion owned by Joseph Gee. The tra­di­tion of quilt­ing was passed down from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion, and used first and fore­most for their intended prac­ti­cal pur­pose — to keep some­one warm.

All images via Auburn Uni­ver­sity.

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By Patty Ann Williams

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By Ella Mae Irby

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By Lucy T. Pettway

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By Mary Eliz­a­beth Kennedy

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By Sally Ben­nett Jones

 
 

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