Souls Grown Deep Custom Prints

Lucy T. Pettway

Birds in the Air (quiltmaker's name)(detail), 1981

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Lucy T. Pettway (1921–2004), Birds in the Air (quiltmaker's name) (detail), 1981

Cotton and cotton/polyester blend, 79 x 79 in.; High Museum of Art, Museum purchase and gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation

Lucy T. Pettway's "Birds in the Air" dazzles with several implied patterns and heightens the effects of movement by playing forceful colors against softer tones.

about the artist

Raised and trained by several of Gee’s Bend’s most serious quiltmakers, Lucy T. Pettway (1921-2004), known as “Lunky,” made quilts for seven decades. Whereas many quilters would develop an approach to quilting early on that remained consistent throughout their lives, Pettway rarely repeated herself. She was curious as an artist and conspicuously sought to explore almost every pattern known to her and to personalize it with her precise interpretation.

As she walked to and from the fields each workday, she carried a pencil and paper in her pocket to sketch ideas and observations. Sometimes a quilt drying on a line or a fence offered suggestions: a variation of the observed quilt, perhaps, or a variation of a detail, or a combination of colors. Something she noticed along the road or from the field might do the same. She sometimes took cloth scraps to the fields so that as ideas came to her while she worked, she could immediately create a quilt block during her rest break.

Pettway’s daughter, Mary Margaret Pettway, serves as board chair of Souls Grown Deep Foundation and Community Partnership.

Lucy T. Pettway’s work is in numerous permanent collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the High Museum of Art, The Phillips Collection, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Learn more about Lucy T. Pettway here.

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About Our Prints


Souls Grown Deep Custom Prints offers custom reproductions of artworks by Souls Grown Deep artists. Hand-made in the USA using gallery-quality materials, we create prints as true to the original work as possible, using strict color management protocols and state-of-the-art printing technology.


Many of the works offered through this store are exclusive and not available anywhere else. We are continually adding new artworks to our offering, so be sure to check back regularly as you build your own gallery.