Abstract Qualities of Gee’s Bend Quilts

Abstract Qualities of Gee’s Bend Quilts

Abstraction of Gee's Bend Quilts



I’ve been looking lately at the abstract quilts made by the ladies of Gee’s Bend. (You can learn more about them here.) What fascinates me in the quilts of theirs shown in this post is not just the usual pattern and shape you’d expect in a quilt but their patently abstract qualities.

They are compositions contrasting both regularity and surprise. Were the surprise elements conscious and pondered or were they blithely random choices?

It is meaningful to analyze what it is in each of these that makes them compelling. They run contrary to many design principles but are still completely effective as wonderful abstract compositions.

The key to what makes them work seems to me to be in the irregularities, and I think that is an important lesson in our tidy perfectionist world. They worked with what they had, and even though it was little in many cases, much more was made out of it. The lesson imbedded in this is one all of us would do well to learn.

The photos here are snapshots from the three books show above and last below. I thought you might enjoy pondering them as well.



































I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. John 2 years ago

    Thank you for sharing these art pieces….

  2. Shelley Sechrist 2 years ago

    Fascinating designs that pull you in and hold your gaze long enough for the imagination to start working.

  3. Eric Chamberlain 2 years ago

    I have seen several exhibits of these quilts and they are wonderful! There are also prints (etchings) that these women make that are amazing as well.

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