Quilt, Housetop Pattern
Lucy T. Pettway
Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
The quilters of Gee’s Bend are part of a small Black community in rural Boykin, Alabama. An isolated hamlet bordered on three sides by the Alabama River, Gee’s Bend has a continuous tradition of quilt-making through multiple generations of several families. The artists’ bold compositions and improvisational forms, produced using recycled clothing and other found materials, achieved national fame with a 2005 traveling museum exhibition.
Making quilts for seven decades, Lucy T. Pettway started piecing when she was about twelve, going on to become an adventurous adapter of local and traditional patterns. Quilt, Housetop Pattern is an exceptional example of one of the most popular patterns in Gee’s Bend. Dominated by concentric squares, the Housetop pattern is typically pieced from a starter square, with an improvisational pattern then formed by adding strips and additional squares.
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Gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation from the William S. Arnett Collection, 2018
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Lucy T. Pettway (American, 1921-2004). Quilt, Housetop Pattern, ca. 1945. Cotton, 84 × 69 in. (213.4 × 175.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation from the William S. Arnett Collection, 2018, 2018.37.2. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: , CUR.2018.37.2.jpg)
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Single block Half Log Cabin pattern variation.
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