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Alabama State Quilt

Pine Burr Quilt

Alabama State Quilt: Pine Burr Quilt

Adopted on March 11, 1997.

The Pine Burr Quilt was designated the official quilt of Alabama by the Alabama Legislature on March 11, 1997. Loretta Pettway Bennett created a Pine Burr Quilt while participating in the Alabama State Council on the Arts Folklife apprenticeship program. Loretta's mother, Qunnie Pettway, a Gee's Bend Quilter, taught her to make the Pine Burr Quilt pattern. Mrs. Bennett donated her quilt to the Alabama Department of Archives and History in 2005.

Alabama State Quilt: Pine Burr Quilt

The resolution naming the state quilt recognizes the work of the Freedom Quilting Bee, a well-known group of African-American women from Wilcox County.

The Pine Burr Quilt was chosen as the state quilt of Alabama in recognition of its creation by the quilters of Gee's Bend and the Freedom Quilting Bee and its relationship to the civil rights movement. It was designated as the official state quilt in 1997.

Alabama Legislature Joint Resolution No. 177

WHEREAS, the Freedom Quilting Bee was organized as an outgrowth of the Civil Rights Movement in 1966, one of the few all Black women's cooperatives in the country; and

WHEREAS, the Freedom Quilting Bee has achieved national recognition for its quilts by using designs that come from 140-year-old tradition; and

WHEREAS, China Grove Myles, a farmer, was the only one left in Gee's Bend who could sew the Pine Burr Quilt, a pattern involving hundreds of tedious swatches that unfold before the eye in a breathtaking, three-dimensional effect; and

WHEREAS, Nettie Young, also a farmer, is the only woman now working at the Bee who was among its originators, and who typifies the history of the Black race in Alabama; and

WHEREAS, quilts and artifacts of the Civil Rights era, which will be presented and stored in the Freedom Quilting Bee, will provide an accurate documentation of the events taking place in American history; and

WHEREAS, a love and understanding of the history of our state are enhanced by traditions that have become a part of our way of life and the customs of the American people, and the official recognition of the Pine Burr Quilt will indeed enhance the cultural stature of Alabama both nationally and internationally; now therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA, BOTH HOUSES THEREOF CONCURRING, That in recognition of a meaningful symbol for a state quilt, the Pine Burr Quilt is hereby designated as the official state quilt of Alabama.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution be presented to the Freedom Quilting Bee with sincere best wishes for future success.

Approved March 11, 1997

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