A creator of precisely patterned quilts and free-form, abstract works of rectangular strips—"get-togethers," she calls them—Polly Bennett has maintained this diversity of style since her earliest quilts from the 1930s.
When I was a girl at home—I reckon I was eight or nine years old—I started making quilts. My mama taught me, show me how to cut the pieces and quilt, too. I call myself making something, but back then what I made be so much longer on one side than the other. I didn't start getting them exactly right for a long while. My first finished quilts, I was about fifteen, sixteen. The first was, I believe, a "Nine Patch." Then I started making what I call a "get-together," just putting pieces together—any color, any sizes. Back in them days, I didn't care how they looked, I just put them together using old clothes mostly, and sometimes go down to Linden and get scraps they were throwing away in the clothes factory. The man over the factory down there let folks go through the throw-away stuff. The dump truck going to come get it anyway.
Polly Bennett's work is in the permanent collections of the High Museum of Art and the New Orleans Museum of Art.