Gee’s Bend Medallion Variation


“Medallion Variation” 52″ x 76″ includes fabric for top and binding, pattern
By Louisiana Pettway Bendolph (b. 1960)

Louisiana Pettway Bendolph, or Lou grew up in Gee’s Bend playing under quilts and recalls the needle’s motion in and out of the fabric as her mother Rita Mae Pettway, and her great aunt Nellie Pettway, quilted them. At the age of twelve Louisiana made her first quilt. It was a “plain, simple quilt,” but her memory of it remains strong. As was typical in Gee’s Bend at the time, Louisiana kept creating quilts throughout her teenage years, until she married at the age of twenty. In the ensuing years Louisiana made quilts sporadically until attending the opening of “The Quilts of Gee’s Bend” exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. There she was brought to tears by the beauty of the quilts on display. She was particularly drawn to the work of Annie E. Pettway (her grandmother) and images of quilts and their role in her community would not leave her thoughts.

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A small remote community in Alabama (pop. 700), represents the genius of a group of exceptional quilters who, for more than a century, have created distinctive works of art for their homes and families. The textile artists of Gee’s Bend are the inheritors of a tradition that goes back many generations. The “discovery” of these unique American masterpieces has led to their exhibition in museums including The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, among others.

Windham Fabrics is proud to partner with the Gee’s Bend Quilters Collective and present The Quilts of Gee’s Bend. It is our pleasure to encourage every quilter to be inspired by the vision and courage of the modern quilting pioneers, and create their own masterpiece.  Windham Fabrics shares a portion of the proceeds from the sale of our Gee’s Bend Kits and Gee’s Bend Solids with the Gee’s Bend Quilters Collective.

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