Mary Ann Pettway, manager of the Gee’s Bend Quilters Collective, learned to quilt as a young child from her mother. She made her first quilt for the collective in the summer of 2005. The seventh of 12 children, Mary Ann Pettway was born and raised in Gee’s Bend, AL.
In 1965, the Civil Rights movement came to Gee’s Bend in the guise of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and the Freedom Quilting Bee was founded as a way for Gee’s Bend women to boost their family incomes. The Gee’s Bend Quilters Collective carries on this work by being a showplace and point of sale for the women of Gee’s Bend who continue to make these original and world-renowned quilts.