"Bars" work-clothes quilt

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    Photo: Stephen Pitkin/Pitkin Studio
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Cotton, denim, twill (pants legs)
88 x 85 inches
Collection of
Souls Grown Deep Foundation

In many ways, the aesthetic of Gee’s Bend quilts evolved in response to the nature of the materials at hand. As Loretta Pettway explained, “I made all of my quilts out of old shirts and dress tails and britches legs. I couldn’t never get no good fabric to make quilts, so I had to get the best of the old clothes my peoples wore or old clothes I got from other peoples. I get the best of the shirt sleeves or whatever part of the pants wasn’t wore out, like the back of the pant legs, ’cause the knees mostly be wore out—we pick the cotton on our knees.”