Lue Ida McCloud
Lue Ida McCloud was born on June 30, 1951, in Gees Bend Alabama. Her mother, Ella Mae Bennett Irby, and grandmother, Delia Bennett, taught Lue Ida the traditions of Gee’s Bend quilt-making as a young girl. Lue Ida left Gee’s Bend in 1969 within a few days of graduating from high school to find work opportunities in New York. In New York City, she worked her way to becoming a Wall Street division chief secretary at JP Morgan Bank.
In 1990 Lue Ida’s sister died of Leukemia, leaving a three-year-old daughter in need of family care. At that time, Lue Ida left her fruitful work in the city and returned to Gee’s Bend to help with the immediate family needs there. Lue Ida lost a second sister and stepped in to raise both families’ children. While raising the kids, Lue Ida rekindled her childhood interests in quilting and made several quilts to share with family members and friends.
“When I’m quilting, it gives me a peace of mind. When I first started making quilts, I had never heard of people coming around buying quilts; it was just something I wanted to do for the family.”