"Snowball" (quiltmaker's name)

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    Photo: Stephen Pitkin/Pitkin Studio
c. 1950
Cotton, corduroy, cotton sacking material
85 x 83 inches
Collection of
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund and partial gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation

More than any other artist of her generation, Lucy T. Pettway epitomized the remarkable versatility of quiltmaking in Gee’s Bend. She was often attracted to established patterns, gleaning many of her ideas from quilt books given to her family by white people across the river in Camden. But each of her quilts contained personalized touches of artistry, and throughout a lifetime of prolific quiltmaking, she avoided ever repeating herself. Like a jazz musician, She loved to take a commonplace and recognized theme and turn it into an improvisational tour de force, such as her “Snowball” quilt.