The Women of Gee's Bend


The women of Gee’s Bend, in a small and remote black community in Alabama, have created hundreds of quilt masterpieces dating back to the early twentieth century.

These quilters started by painstakingly taking apart old clothes by hand so as to use the ENTIRE piece of fabric. They didn’t use MOST of it to make something new, they used ALL of it.

The benefits of a simpler life provide fresh perspective on what is truly important.  Thoreau was right, “We make ourselves rich by making our wants few. ”   The amazing women of Gee’s Bend were definitely creatively frugal.

Video Links

*The Quiltmakers of Gee’s Bend (Award-winning PBS Feature):

* Smithsonian Article “Fabric of Their Lives”:


Gee’s Bend Quilt Activity

1.  Cut paper into a small manageable  “cards”
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2.  Use different colored backgrounds for each card.
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3.  Cut up to make lots of mini collages, using ALL your scraps
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1.  Place four background cards on the table and four remaining cards are cut up into strips and squares, etc.

2.  Glue to the backgrounds in any arrangement desired.

3.  Important: Your children must use ALL of their cut up paper. Layers are fine, it just needs to be all used up, just like the Gee’s Bend women did with their clothes.

4.   The cards can be taped together on the back side to create the quilt.


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And finally…….. I’ve attached a link to 2 quilt coloring book pages inspired by Gee’s Bend quilts.  

“Q” is for Quilt






Visual References