Stitching Love and Loss, A Gee’s Bend Quilt 

A Virtual Lecture with Dr. Lisa Gail Collins

In 1942 Missouri Pettway, newly suffering the loss of her husband, pieced together a quilt out of his old, worn work clothes. Nearly six decades later her daughter Arlonzia Pettway, approaching eighty at the time and a seasoned quiltmaker herself, readily recalled this cover made by her grieving mother within the small African American farming community of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. Centering this quilt made in mourning and the memory of its making, I ask with reverence: How might a closely crafted material object–a pieced together quilt–serve the work of grieving a loved one as well as illuminate the perseverance and creativity of the quilters in this rural Black Belt community?

Wednesday, October 18th, 2023


2 pm – 3:30 pm ET

Zoom, a link will be send to participants the day before class

All Tatter lectures are considered community programming and therefore ticket prices are donation-based. The suggested donation for each of these lectures is $25. Donations start at $15 for each lecture and $90 for the whole series.

*This session will be recorded. A link to the recording will be emailed to all those who register following the live session. This link is live for 24 hours only.


Lisa Gail Collins is Professor of Art on the Sarah Gibson Blanding Chair and Director of the American Studies Program at Vassar College. She has the great fortune of teaching student-led, interdisciplinary courses on topics such as: creativity, Black study, and Black life; art and activism; intimacy and quilts; communities of creativity and care; and visual storytelling. Her latest book Stitching Love and Loss: A Gee’s Bend Quilt–a meditation on suffering, creativity, resilience, and grace–was recently published by the University of Washington Press.

Upcoming Events