"Roman Stripes" variation with sashing

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    Photo: Stephen Pitkin/Pitkin Studio
89 x 71 inches
Collection of
Souls Grown Deep Foundation

Mensie Lee Pettway, America Irby's daughter, departs somewhat from the lucid structure of others in the Wilcox clan, opting for an approach she calls "this and that." As she explains it, "I may start off looking like planning a 'Nine Patch,' but then I take this, take that, take patches, blocks, strips, and seeing where I am going, laying my pattern as I go." Her more improvisational approach is evident in a strip quilt that incorporates material printed with traditional African-inspired designs that was in use at the quilting bee in the late sixties and early seventies. The blocks are differing widths; some are composed entirely of either vertical or horizontal strips, while others are mixed. Though less architectonic than quilts by her mother, grandmother, or aunt, Mensie Lee's composition does suggest an urban street grid.