i thought, well the holidays are coming, i should do something special in the studio....a new piece of some sort...then it struck me a new gee's bend piece would be not only a creative challenge but so special this time of year...so as my fingers went page to page, talking to my mom all the way in florida over the phone saying, 'what do you think of this one, what about this one (for she too has her own book)', i finally decided...
the new piece is named: Qunnie after the quilter Qunnie Pettway who was born in 1943. the piece that inspired me was her 'housetop' quilt, circa 1975.
(for a larger view - visit 'mill games' on the right hand column)
"qunnie" - 19" x 19"
mill game piece inspired by gee's bend housetop design by Qunnie Pettway
limited edition of 15 pieces
bright red, antique white
here's a small glimpse of the area of gee's bend where she lives; taken from 'the quilts of gee's bend'...(2002 Tinwood Books). Qunnie is on the right in this photo.
"The neighborhood has been home to many of the area's most important quiltmakers. On one of its streets, a little dogleg land of no more than 600 feet, in Roosevelt-era 'project' houses, live Leola Pettway, Lucy T. "Lunky" Pettway, Annie Bell Pettway, Arlonzia Pettway, and Lizzie Major. There will be no ongoing legacy here: the youngest quiltmakers in Sodom, and the only two even moderately active ones, are Rita Mae Pettway and Qunnie Pettway, ages sixty and fifty-nine.
tonight as i was reading through the book gathering information and searching the internet for more history on Qunnie, I sadly came to her recent obituary. i was truly saddened for this life that is now gone, but her work and inspirations will live on. my new game board takes on an even more special tone to me, for i hope i did her proud...
"The great-granddaughter of Dinah Miller who is said to have arrived in the United States aboard a slave ship from Africa - the Clotilde which docked in Mobile Bay, Alabama prior to the Civil War. Qunnie learned to quilt House Tops under the tutelage of her mother, Candis Pettway. In 1960 after she married, she found her unique artistic voice and began making patterned quilts including Wedding Ring - which she learned from her sister - Chestnut Bud, Bear Paw and Crazy Z. Qunniea’s daughter, Loretta P. Bennett is one of the youngest quilters actively creating extraordinary quilts today."