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Bend Quilting W O R K S H O P

Gee’s Bend 2018 Quilting Workshop

On the Cover Strips by Plummer T. Pettway Double knit, corduroy, and denim c. 1975 76 x 81 inches Collection of: Souls Grown Deep Foundation

Welcome! We are so excited that you are joining us for our first ever quilting workshop at Gee’s Bend. We hope this weekend will be one full of quilting, community, and friendship for you. So many women quilt alone and we hope that when you leave this workshop you will have a group of women to share your work with, your learning experiences, and to help pull you through when you feel stuck while working. Should you need anything at any point during the workshop do not hesitate to reach out to your host, one of the quilters, or another workshop attendee. We want this to be the best experience possible for all involved in the workshop. Happy Quilting!

Workshop Schedule Friday 4:00 – 6:00 Arrival and check in 6:00 – 7:00 Dinner 7:00 – 8:00 China and Mary Ann will share the story of the Gee’s Bend Quilting Collective, it’s history and their part of this amazing group of artists.

Saturday 8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast 9:00 – 12:00 Session 1 China and Jessie 12:00 – 1:00 Lunch 2:00 – 5:00 Session 2 China and Mary Ann 6:00 – 9:00 Dinner

Sunday 8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast 9:00 – 12:00 Session 3 Jessie and Mary Ann 12:00 – 1:00 Lunch 1:30 – 2:30 Closing China and Mary Ann

Stay in Touch Ada Miller


Gladys Sames


Winifred Keller


Olivia Boyki


Edith Gerbert


Ethel Clements


Nancy Murray


Doris Henreis


Idis Leroys


Suzanne Clarence


Session Information Session 1 Meet altogether at the Quilting Collective. We will discuss different ways to improvisationally quilt as well as take sketchbooks around the area to sketch what we are inspired by and make a quilt based off of the sketches drawn.

Session 2 Pick fabrics // color scheme and analyze the sketches to figure out the best direction. Begin quilting by hand / with machine. The women will come around to see how you are doing.

Session 3 Continue working at your own pace. The women will be coming around offering assistance to those who need it.

Leaders Mary Ann Pettway is currently the manager of The Gee's Bend Quilting Collective. She made her first quilt for the collective in the summer of 2005. She became involved with quilting after hearing about the trips the quilters of the community went on. "Before I started back to quilting, I was with Arlonzia a lot and heard about these trips they would go on to other cities through the traveling exhibition. So I told her, “I'm tired of hearing how good of a time y'all are having. I want to start having a good time too.” So she told me, “Well, then start quilting!" And she is, thankfully, still quilting today. China Pettway is one of Gee’s Bends leading gospel singers and one of the few locals who after attending college returned to live in the community. China was taught by her mother, Leola, how to quilt at the young age of eleven. “We had to quilt until 10 at night. Then, she would let us stop and get to bed. That was every evening except Saturday and Sunday. I made my first quilt, it was a ‘Star.’ And I still have it.” Jessie T. Pettway was given the name “J.T.” at her birth, the quiltmaker has always been known as “Bootnie”—and since her school days has called herself “Jessie,” after her favorite teacher. “I been here my whole life. I’m seventy-one now. Things don’t change too much—maybe a little, but I don’t see no great change.”

Assistant Quilters Lucy Mingo is a descendant from several generations of quiltmakers. She became one of Gee’s Bend’s leading spokespersons during the civil rights era. Loretta Pettway had many Pettway quiltmaking mentors in her youth — including Missouri, Louella, Qunnie, grandmother Prissy, and stepmother Plummer T. — but she has kept to herself artistically throughout her adult life. Her earliest surviving quilts are made of everyday clothing, especially men’s work clothes. Rita Mae Pettway learned all of her quilting skills by watching her grandmother quilt as a kid. “I feel good about living where I live and about putting my children through school, hard as that was, living on a farm. Without welfare we couldn’t have got by, but we made it. I am happy the way it is. It’s been a pretty good life.” Louisianna Bendolph I was twelve years old when I made my first quilt. I made it because it gave me something to do. We needed the cover, but for me it was just something to do. Essie Bendolph Pettway is a precocious quiltmaker who was artistically mature in her teens. She is the daughter of Mary Lee Bendolph and granddaughter of Aolar Mosely, and is among the last women in Gee’s Bend to continue practicing her craft.


Before You Head Out Have you seen the Gee’s Bend Quilt Mural Trail? During 2007 – 2008, ten large murals each containing a painting of one of the quilts from the U. S. Postage Stamp Collection, were created and placed along the route through the Gee’s Bend community (officially called Boykin, AL).

Quilt Guide


Key Quilts Ferry Landing Quilter’s Facility

1. Medallion by Patty Ann Williams (N 32.174028 W 87.361722) 2. Blocks and Stripes by Annie Mae Young (N 32.162944 W 87.345972) 3. Pig in a Pen by Minnie Sue Coleman (N 32.082556 W 87.304944) 4. Housetop by Lottie Mooney (N 32.068111 W 87.304639) 5. Chinese Coins by Arlonzia Pettway (N 32.065583 W 87.289861) 6. Bars by Jessie T. Pettway (N 32.074167 W 87.282361) 7. Housetop by Mary Lee Bendolph (N 32.077278 W 87.280306) 8. Roman Stripes by Loretta Pettway (N 32.078417 W 87.277056) 9. Nine Patch by Ruth P. Mosely (N 32.080000 W 87.279556) 10. Medallion by Loretta Pettway (N 32.077417 W 87.286139)

14570 County Road 29 Boykin, AL 36723

phone. 334.573.2323

Gee's Bend Quilting Workshop Informational pamphlet  
Gee's Bend Quilting Workshop Informational pamphlet