Pattern: Clara Mui

Bars by Emma Pettway

The pattern used in this quilt was built with stripes of two colors, a bright yellow and a dark blue, which made really good contrast. The stripes were in similar thickness but the artist aligned them with both horizontally and vertically, as well as scaling the stripes so some of them or longer, some of them are shorter. The lines were repetitive and it gives a modern feel to the quilt. I’m still amazed how these quilt just came out of women’s head when they had never seen modern art, never been to a museum, went on internet or had any professional trainings before.

Because of how our human brain is so hypersensitive to image we know, right when I was looking at the quilt along with the other ones made by the same woman, I can’t help but noticed the letter E in all of them. I could see how the yellow lines make different sizes and scales of the letter E, like rotated and squeezed. The woman who made this quilt is Emma Pettway, and I think what inspired her a lot in these quilts are not just her surroundings, but also herself and her identity, like her name, Emma, that starts with the letter E. The dark blue part of the quilt however, looks like a window or a barred wall, so I think she was also looking for ideas around her house, as the women in the documentary mentioned, they were look at the ceiling and imagine things that ended up being on a quilt. Though it could be a very simple idea on this quilt, but I think we could interpret it as how Emma Pettway was proud and happy with herself, but felt a little blue about her living situation.

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