"Log Cabin"—"Courthouse Steps" variation (local name: "Bricklayer")

Leola Pettwayc. 1975

Souls Grown Deep Foundation

Souls Grown Deep Foundation
Atlanta, United States

In 1972 the Freedom Quilting Bee, a sewing cooperative based in Alberta, Alabama, near Gee's Bend, secured a contract with Sears, Roebuck to produce corduroy pillow covers. Made of a wide-wale cotton corduroy, the covers came in a variety of colors including "gold," "avocado leaf," "tangerine," and "cherry red." Production of the Sears pillow covers left little room for personal creativity, as labor at the Freedom Quilting Bee was divided to maximize daily output. Yet despite the standardized and repetitive process involved in producing the pillow covers, the availability of corduroy, a fabric seldom used before by the Gee's Bend quiltmakers, stimulated a profound creative response. Leftover lengths and scraps of corduroy were taken home by workers at the Bee. Given to friends and family or bundled for sale within the community, the scraps were then transformed from standardized remnants into vibrant and individualized works of art.


  • Title: "Log Cabin"—"Courthouse Steps" variation (local name: "Bricklayer")
  • Creator: Leola Pettway
  • Creator Lifespan: 1929/2010
  • Creator Nationality: American
  • Creator Gender: Female
  • Date Created: c. 1975
  • Location Created: Boykin, Alabama
  • Physical Dimensions: 85 x 70 in. (215.9 x 177.8 cm)
  • Subject Keywords: Gee's Bend, Freedom Quilting Bee, Black art, African American art
  • Type: Quilt
  • Rights: © Leola Pettway / Photo: Stephen Pitkin/Pitkin Studio
  • External Link: https://www.soulsgrowndeep.org/artist/leola-pettway
  • Medium: Corduroy

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