Blocks and strips with medallion strip center

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    Photo: Stephen Pitkin / Pitkin Studio
Cotton and cotton/polyester blend
99 x 81 inches
Collection of
High Museum of Art
Museum purchase and gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation

The string and strip quilts most fully embody the themes of utility and frugality. Taught from generation to generation, these quilt "patterns" were reserved for the smallest of leftover irregular shapes and sizes of prints and solids. Many were tied and not quilted, especially the quilts made of "tough" materials. All are indebted to the work-clothes quilts as well as the reverse sides—the backs of quilts—whose compositions many times seem random, but are often as balanced as any works of art in any medium. Polly Bennett calls these quilts "get-togethers,” which she perfected as a young woman and has continued to create throughout her life. Her meticulous craft lays to rest any possibility that get-togethers might be less rigorously executed than conventional pattern quilts.