Mary Margaret Pettway
Image courtesy of The Philadelphia Museum of Art
As a fourth-generation Gee's Bend quiltmaker and Board Chair of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation & Community Partnership, I have witnessed first-hand the global recognition of quilts created here in the Bend by my friends and relatives. 

My mother's quilts (Lucy T. Pettway)—ones that I slept under as a child—are on the walls of some of this country's finest museums including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

As a lifelong resident of Gee's Bend, I have also seen that the traditions that have earned my community such acclaim have not resulted in economic advancement for the majority of quilters and their families.

The average annual income here is under $10,000, and well over half of the residents live in poverty. Some live without proper electricity and plumbing, and most do not have internet access in their homes. These challenges have significantly limited Gee's Bend quilters’ ability to connect with a global audience and market their quilts beyond the local quilters' collective.

To address this, Souls Grown Deep and our partner Nest are working alongside Gee's Bend quilters to develop direct-to-consumer channels for the sale of Gee's Bend quilts. Establishing an eCommerce presence will for the first time allow for us to sell our quilts outside of the Bend, and lay the groundwork for sustainable, long-term economic success of quilters, our families, and our community. In order to do this, we need your help.

Contributions to this project will go directly toward:

The Souls Grown Deep Resource Center, providing free computer and Internet access to quilters and the Gee's Bend community.

Training for quilters on marketing and sales strategies, business development, cooperative development, branding, logistics and other business disciplines.

Marketing campaign to ensure visibility and increased exposure for the makers and quilts.

Regular fine art studio photography of quilts provided at no cost to quilters.

Recruitment, hiring and training of a Gee’s Bend community member to serve as the local lead for the project.

Please consider making a donation.

With heartfelt thanks,

Mary Margaret Pettway

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      Contributions to Souls Grown Deep Community Partership, Inc., a Georgia-based 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization, are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

      Donor Wall86


      Knowing that for so many years, the Quiltmakers didn't even consider their beautiful quilts to be art makes them even more inspiring. The women were only trying to keep their families warm using the materials they had. This is truly art, and I am glad to make a donation to help celebrate that and provide a way for these artisans to continue.


      True artists.

      tim greenough | $26.27


      Jeanette Stokes | $519.52

      I'm grateful you for the gorgeous and inspirational work of the Gee's Bend quilters and for Mary Margaret's participation in the Abstract Piecing workshop.

      Heidi | $104.15

      Your work is important and inspiring! Thank you for your talent!

      Sherri Lynn

      In thanksgiving for the Gee's Bend Quilters and their contribution of inspiring quilt makers in new ways, all over the world! And for Mary Margaret's participation in the Abstract Piecing workshops.

      Jacqueline | $52.23

      Viewing the Gees Bend quilts for the first time left me in total awe and changed my quilting life forever. There’s no possible way to recreate a Gees Bend quilt. The makers have a vision, a soul, a legacy unique to their heritage and therefore their creations. But, I have learned so many things about design, color, improvisation and embracing the unexpected from studying their quilts, and my quilting approach has so benefited from observing and learning about the inimitable Gees Bend women. Thank you for all you are and for continuing to inspire.

      Sarah | $38.73/M

      In recognition of an artistic debt that can never be fully repaid.


      I've followed these quilts and quilters (via books mostly) for years and am honored to contribute to your community! Thank you for staying true!

      Wanda | $104.15

      Sent with love for my stitching sisters, and with thanks to Sherri Lynn for connecting us in such a practical way.

      Tiffany | $26.27

      I love the Gee's Bend Quilts! They are beautiful and they show so much love.

      Jennifer | $26.27

      Lets continue the traditions!

      Charlotte | $26.27

      Thank you for the gift of Gees Bend Quilts - our lives are so enriched by your beautiful work.

      Bridget Pilloud | $52.23/M

      I have loved your quilts for years and hope to one day have one for my collection. I am so happy to hear about this project and support it.

      Ann | $25

      May you continue to inspire admiration and profit from your talents!

      Adrien Logsdon | $25

      Jennifer | $26.27

      Thank you for all that you do and inspire!


      Quinten | $25

      Jessie Webb

      Amelia | $26.27

      Megan | $31.46

      Renae | $26.27

      This is such an incredible project, the craft world owes Gees Bend so much! Very happy to support all the way from Australia.


      kelly larson

      Lili Todd | $75

      This is on behalf of many donors. Money raised by Lili Todd. Thank you! We love you!

      Tanya | $26.27

      Best wishes, many thanks.

      Adina Sterling | $40

      Making this donation on behalf of our Aunt Cherise, in celebration of her birthday. She introduced us to your wonderful community!

      Mary | $104.15

      Create and sew on...

      Deborah | $52.23

      I love your mission of keeping art alive!