Pattern: Julia Midkiff


The high contrast of blue and red against the pink helps give focus on the star or sun-like design in the center. Stella Mae Pettway, Polyester/cotton blend and polyester, 1985

The quilt that caught my eye as I was scrolling was one called “Star” by Stellla Mae Pettway. It utilizes dark red, dark blue, black and pink pieces of fabric with an off-white color around the border. It is mostly geometric, with many small triangles laid in a circular fashion that radiates into larger triangles and thus into a sun or star-like pattern. However, a few irregularities can be seen in some of the red patches where corners are uneven or look torn against the pink and the red patches that are meant to fill the background ore also irregular and almost more organic in nature compared to the uniformity of the star shape. This leads me to believe that, like other quilts from the documentary, this quilt makes use of old clothing or fabric scraps that were recycled for another purpose once they were too worn or didn’t fit. The radiating geometric pattern clearly resembles a star or sun, which is clearly the source of inspiration, as it also takes up a majority of the design on the quilt. While it is hard to tell why the artist made this piece, I notice that in comparison to other quilts, this seems more planned out and organized. There is a distinct geometrical pattern of triangles as opposed to many jagged pieces put together, which is a representation of the fundamental geometry often stands for metaphors of existence in Gee’s Bend. The artist likely drew some sort of inspiration from her ordinary, daily life in the Bend and found a way to represent it in a creative way.

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