"Coat of Many Colors" (quilting bee name)

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    Photo: Stephen Pitkin/Pitkin Studio
Cotton and cotton/polyester blend
79 x 67 inches
Collection of
Souls Grown Deep Foundation

Several quilts produced during the heyday of the Freedom Quilting Bee suggest the complex interactions provoked between local tradition and market demand. Candis Pettway’s "Coat of Many Colors" reveals some of the quilting bee's influence: it is pieced in patterns featured in bee sales brochures, adheres to the patterns quite rigorously, and is made in consistent shades of commercially available cloth. But it is chromatically distinct: it is not in typical quilting bee shades, which tended toward bold, primary hues. It is especially notable for its coloring, composed of lush combinations of different greens in solids and prints, set off at irregular intervals by reds, pinks, oranges, and blues.