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quilts of Gee's bend catalog

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freedom quilting bee


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The Freedom Quilting Bee was a women’s quilting collective in Alberta, Alabama, near to Boykin or Gee's Bend. It was founded in 1966, out of the civil rights movement. Some of the women whose quilts are represented in the Quilts of Gee's Bend exhibit once made quilts for this economic collective. Others did not. Nevertheless, it is through this earlier collective that Gee's Bend came first to be known for its quilts, for the strength of its community and the resourcefulness and artistry of its quilters.

See some photos taken by photo-journalist Jim Peppler at the Freedom Quilting Bee Festival in 1966.

Read a recent interview with Nettie Young and Lucy Mingo, former civil rights activists, Freedom Quilting Bee quilters, and artists in The Quilts of Gee's Bend exhibit.

Find out how the State of Alabama recognized the extraordinary success of the Freedom Quilting Bee.

Quilt images courtesy of Tinwood Media | All other photographs courtesy Jim Peppler, 1966, all rights reserved