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Loretta Pettway
Loretta Pettway, American, born 1942
Bricklayer–Sampler Variation Quilt
Cotton and corduroy
82 x 78 inches (208.3 x 198.1 cm)
Collection of the Tinwood Alliance
Photo by Stephen Pitkin, Pitkin Studio, Rockford, Illinois

Loretta Pettway

I always did like a “Bricklayer.” It made me think about what I always wanted. Always did want a brick house. —Loretta Pettway

Loretta Pettway has overcome many obstacles in her life. As a child she suffered emotional pain when her mother abandoned her family. Pettway also faced physical hardship, walking for miles each day and working in the fields. She endured a thirty-year marriage to an abusive husband, with whom she had seven children. Like Loretta P. Bennett, she is a descendent of Dinah Miller (Pettway is Dinah’s great-granddaughter). She pieced her first quilt together when she was only eleven years old, learning skills from her grandmother, stepmother, and other female relatives. Many of them preferred the Bricklayer pattern. Pettway did not always enjoy sewing, as it was a chore added to her heavy workload; now, her attitude has changed. Given all the adversity that she has faced, Pettway’s brilliantly designed quilts reflect her personality and strength.

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