Michigan Quilt Project
Michigan Quilt Project

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The African American Collection

Housetop quilt

China Pettway
Gee's Bend, Alabama
Cotton, cotton/polyester
79 1/2” x 96”
MSUM 2009:18.1
Photo by Pearl Yee Wong, all rights reserved Michigan State University Museum

China Pettway is one of Gee’s Bend’s leading gospel singers and is one of the few locals who have attended college and returned to live in the community. The daughter of Leola and Willie Lee Pettway, she has eight siblings on her mother’s side and five on her father’s. China was taught how to quilt by her mother at a young age. "We had to quilt until 10 at night. Then, she would let us stop and get to bed. That was every evening except Saturday and Sunday. I made my first quilt, it was a ‘Star.’ And I still have it."

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