Gee’s Bend – formally referred to as Boykin – is a small enclave of simply over 200 individuals, nestled in a bend within the Alabama River. Surrounded by water on three sides, there is just one street and a ferry that runs a number of occasions a day. Many residents are descendants of slaves from the previous Pettway Plantation, and so they nonetheless share Pettway as a surname.
After emancipation, their ancestors stayed and farmed. However the neighborhood remained remoted and impoverished. The ladies of Gee’s Bend labored within the fields, cared for kids, cooked, cleaned and sewed quilts to maintain their households heat. They used discovered supplies and outdated garments and created quilts with a singular, improvised look.
Within the late 90’s an artwork supplier named Invoice Arnett visited Gee’s Bend and was captivated by the artwork he noticed. One other grasp quilter, Mary Margaret Pettway, remembers when this stranger confirmed up on the town to purchase her mom’s quilts.
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