Pine Burr Quilt

Alabama State Quilt

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Women from Gees Bend work on a quilt

Women from Gee's Bend work on a quilt during the 2005 ONB Magic City Art Connection in irmingham, Alabama; photo by Andre Natta on Flickr (use permitted with attribution).

Official State Quilt of Alabama

Alabama designated the Pine Burr Quilt as the official state quilt in 1997. The quilt was made by Loretta Pettway Bennett, daughter of Qunnie Pettway, a quilter from Gee's Bend.  All State Cultural Heritage Symbols

From the Alabama legislation:

WHEREAS, the Freedom Quilting Bee was organized as an outgrowth of the Civil Rights Movement in 1966, one of the few all Black women's cooperatives in the country; and

WHEREAS, the Freedom Quilting Bee has achieved national recognition for its quilts by using designs that come from 140-year-old tradition; and

WHEREAS, China Grove Myles, a farmer, was the only one left in Gee's Bend who could sew the Pine Burr Quilt, a pattern involving hundreds of tedious swatches that unfold before the eye in a breathtaking, three-dimensional effect; and

WHEREAS, Nettie Young, also a farmer, is the only woman now working at the Bee who was among its originators, and who typifies the history of the Black race in Alabama; and

WHEREAS, quilts and artifacts of the Civil Rights era, which will be presented and stored in the Freedom Quilting Bee, will provide an accurate documentation of the events taking place in American history; and

WHEREAS, a love and understanding of the history of our state are enhanced by traditions that have become a part of our way of life and the customs of the American people, and the official recognition of the Pine Burr Quilt will indeed enhance the cultural stature of Alabama both nationally and internationally; now therefore,

...in recognition of a meaningful symbol for a state quilt, the Pine Burr Quilt is hereby designated as the official state quilt of Alabama.

Alabama