1964 -

Annette Pettway


    Though she often helped relatives quilt tops, Annette Pettway (b. 1964) has pieced only one quilt for herself.

    I didn't do too much of nothing, not really. When I was growing up, the farming here was mostly over. Mama did some cucumber farming so I spent a little time in the cucumber patch. Worked at the Nutrition Center serving old people their dinner—but I'm back at home now. And went to home health aide classes up in Alberta, graduated in the top five. Finished high school down at Pine Hill. I raised three sons—two go to Tuskegee, a sophomore and senior, one is still in high school. I only pieced one quilt in my life, back in ' 98. I'm pretty lazy. But I've made pillows and I've quilted a lot of material for other people.

    Gee's Bend: The Women and Their Quilts

    Gee's Bend: The Women and Their Quilts

    Gee’s Bend quilts carry forward an old and proud tradition of textiles made for home and family. They represent only a part of the rich body of African American quilts. But they are in a league by themselves. Few other places can boast the extent of Gee’s Bend’s artistic achievement, the result of both geographical isolation and an unusual degree of cultural continuity. In few places elsewhere have works been found by three and sometimes four generations of women in the same family, or works that bear witness to visual conversations among community quilting groups and lineages. Gee’s Bend’s art also stands out for its flair—quilts composed boldly and improvisationally, in geometries that transform recycled work clothes and dresses, feed sacks, and fabric remnants.

    The Quiltmakers of Gee's Bend

    This uplifting, Emmy-winning PBS film tells the modern-day "Cinderalla" story of the quiltmakers of Gee's Bend, Alabama. Artists born into extreme poverty, they live to see their quilts hailed by a The New York Times art critic as "some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced."