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Louisiana P. Bendolph
Louisiana P. Bendolph, American, born 1960
Housetop Variation Quilt
Cotton and cotton blends
97 1/2 x 66 3/4 inches (247.7 x 169.5 cm)
Collection of the Tinwood Alliance
Photo by Stephen Pitkin, Pitkin Studio, Rockford, Illinois

Louisiana P. Bendolph

We came from cotton fields, we came through hard times, and we look back and see what all these people before us have done. They brought us here, and to say thank you is not enough. —Louisiana P. Bendolph

Until she was sixteen, Louisiana Bendolph worked in the fields from sunup to sundown every day of the week except Sunday, when she went to church with her family. She and her husband Albert (whose mother is Mary Lee Bendolph) moved from Gee’s Bend to Mobile, Alabama, in 1980, though she considers Gee’s Bend her home. She made quilts intermittently throughout her life, at times using patterns from books. However, she had not quilted for many years when she went to the 2002 opening of The Quilts of Gee’s Bend exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The exhibition inspired her to return to quiltmaking. She said, “When I was coming back from Houston...I started having visions of quilts...So I got a pencil and a piece of paper and drew them out. Finally I decided that I would get some fabric and make a quilt...The images wouldn’t go away...And I’ve kept on doing it because those images won’t leave me alone.”

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