Friday, November 2, 2012


 This quilt, which is signed by the quilters of Gees Bend is hanging on the wall of the community centre.  If you click to enlarge you will recognize some of the name of the original ladies of Gees Bend.   The new centre is beautiful, sunny and quite large.  Somehow though, I suspect that some of the ladies must miss the intimacy of the old building.  It is quite large, the new one that is, while the original building is small, and also closer to the centre of town.
 Here I am at the front of the store at the roadway with the old centre/store on my left.  The centre of the town is pretty much here.  Just around the corner from the store is a dirt road leading to residences.  Following the road we didn't see any more of the quilt signs, but did see that the one of the quilters had a road named after her.  Will post that at a later date. 
This is the mural of quilts from the stamps collection.  It is quite impressive to say the least.  It hangs in the store which has so many items for sale.  The quilts are very expensive just to tell you right from the start.  So if you go with the idea of buying a quilt, be forewarned.  I don't know who is in charge of the collective, but the prices are up there with mortgage payments!
The store or the Collective Center as it is called has room for a busload to view the video of Gees Bend on one side, and the sales centre on the other.  

We drove through the town which, on the brochure of Gees Bend that we picked up at the Alabama border said that there would be many of the original quilts displayed as I posted yesterday, but we only saw a few.  I think that they must have removed some because of the weather wear on them.

We are at the our "winter home" having lovely lovely Florida weather.  This morning the temperature is 54 degrees Fahrenheit but at 7:00 a,m there were three kids with their dad in the pool.  The father was still yawning as he got in the water!

Everything here is in tip top shape and so clean.  We are happy! 

Thursday, November 1, 2012


 This is the sign that met us as we arrived in the Gees Bend area.  To say that it is in the boonies is putting it mildly, but having said that, I am so glad that we went.  It was, for me looking at history of black women in Alabama who became world famous.  Little did they know when they started selling their quilts, what lay ahead of them.
 As we arrived in the little community, of which at the best of times there is only about 200 people, we started seeing these painted signs of some of the quilts that were on 2006 US stamps.  We drove along some dirt roads, then some paved roads till we arrived at the ferry crossing.  I went in to find out where to go to see the quilters, and the woman at the reception asked how many people we were.  I said that it was just me!  She said she rarely if ever remembered anyone coming by themselves.  Usually bus tours of quilters come to tour the site.  She told me that the Gees Bend Quilters were just about to have lunch and to come across the hall to visit. And she said that she didn't ever remember a Canadian visiting!
The lady on the left in red is Nancy Pettaway, the next lady is Lola Pettaway, and the other lady is also a Pettaway, but by that point I was so overcome to meeting them that I teared up and Nancy hugged me.  When I told them that I was by myself, other than my husband and dog, they couldn't have been nicer and called to tell the manager of the store to open it up as there was a lady here from Canada.  Can you imagine?  I asked about taking photos of them and said that they were probably used to having their pics taken, but Lola said not many people ask them about, my next blog will feature the humble studio where the ladies sell their wares and what they thought of me bringing my quilts for them to see!

Yeah, I showed them a few quilts....that is a story for another day!