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    Photo: Stephen Pitkin/Pitkin Studio
Polyester knit basketball jerseys, satin, corduroy
84 x 73 inches
Collection of
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Museum purchase and gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation

For Irene Williams, who lives in a tiny house without electricity, quiltmaking has always been a solitary activity, a relief from working the cotton fields and raising six children. She began making quilts when she married at seventeen; she recounts that while sitting on the front porch, she “just put stuff together." Her designs are alive with remarkable rhythm and energy, and they frequently achieve their lovely syncopation through the use of a bold but limited range at colors or prints, flecked with the smallest flares of an unexpected hue. This quilt reveals her sense of humor—used basketball jerseys are deconstructed to form a bedcover that reads like a street map. with small “houses” identified by numbers along either side of a "main road” running down the center. —DiIys Blum