The Pine Burr Quilt was designated the official quilt of the State of Alabama by the Legislature on March 11, 1997.
Photo courtesy of the Alabama State Council on the Arts, Center for
Traditional Culture, Steve Grauberger, photographer. Quilt made by Loretta Pettway Bennett, daughter of Qunnie Pettway, a quilter from Gee's Bend.
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,
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA, BOTH HOUSES THEREOF CONCURRING, That in recognition of a meaningful symbol for a state quilt, the Pine Burr Quilt is hereby designated as the official state quilt of Alabama.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution be presented to the Freedom Quilting Bee with sincere best wishes for future success.
Approved March 11, 1997.
Acts of Alabama, No. 97-111
A pine burr quilt made by Loretta Pettway Bennett is on display at the Alabama Department of Archives and History in the second floor Alabama Sampler Gallery.
Read about the Freedom Quilting Bee.
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Updated: August 22, 2011