Traditional Gee's Bend Quilting

Boykin, Alabama

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Lue Ida

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Lue Ida


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About QuiltsByLue

Sales 22
On Etsy since 2021

Thank you for visiting my shop!

My name is Lue Ida McCloud. My grandmother, Delia Bennett, was born in 1892, and died in November of 1976. She and my granddad were married over 60 years, and had many, many grandchildren and great grandchildren. There was a lot of us! I come from a family of quilters. My grandmother’s sister was a quilter, her name was Menda Coleman. My mother was a quilter, Ella Mae Irby. My sister was a quilter, Linda Diane Bennett. And My sister Mary Margaret Pettway is a quilter. All of us are quilters.

I was born and raised in Gee’s Bend, AL. I left at 17 after graduating high school and moved to Brooklyn, NY. I had several jobs in New York, and eventually ended up at JP Morgan. I worked on Wall Street as a legal secretary for about ten years. I came home in 1989. I had two younger sisters who died, so I thought I’d come home and help my momma take care of their children. I’ve been sewing and baking since I came home; these are my hobbies; they give me something to do. My grandmother and my mother taught me how to make quilts, and sister, Mary Margaret, also taught me a lot about quilt making. I used to sit around and observe them. Now, most of my quilts are contemporary. I like to try new things. Whatever material I can get that’s what I use, but my favorite material is cotton.

When people look at my quilts, I want them to know that I did the best job I could. My husband, Almus McCloud Jr., was a great help to me, even with quilting. We were married in March of 2003. He died on July 9, 2020. He was the love of my life. I feel lost without him. I make quilts for peace of mind; it gives me joy. Satisfaction. My favorite thing about making quilts is putting the pieces together and seeing how they’re going to look. I sit there thinking about what I’m going to do, how I’m going to do it, and then I look at the finished product with pride and joy.

History of Gee’s Bend:
The women of Gee’s Bend—a small, rural, community in Alabama's Black Belt—have created hundreds of quilt masterpieces dating from the early twentieth century to the present. Resembling an inland island, Gee’s Bend is surrounded on three sides by the Alabama River. The some seven hundred or so inhabitants of this small, rural community are mostly descendants of enslaved Africans who, for generations, worked the fields belonging to the local Pettway plantation. Quiltmakers there have produced countless patchwork masterpieces, with the oldest existing examples dating from the 1920s. Enlivened by a visual imagination that extends the expressive boundaries of the quilt genre, these astounding creations constitute a crucial chapter in the history of American art.

Gee’s Bend quilts carry forward a proud tradition of textiles made for home and family. They represent only a part of the rich body of African American quilts, but they are in a league by themselves. Few other places can boast the extent of Gee’s Bend’s artistic achievement -- the result of both geographical isolation and an unusual degree of cultural continuity. In few places across the country have works been found by three - and sometimes four - generations of women in the same family, nor have many works been discovered that bear witness to visual conversations among community quilting groups and lineages. Gee’s Bend’s heirloom pieces stand out for their flair—quilts composed boldly and improvisationally, in geometries that transform recycled work clothes and dresses, feed sacks, and fabric remnants.

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  • Lue Ida


    My name is Lue Ida McCloud. I make quilts for peace of mind, it gives me joy.

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Last updated on Aug 12, 2021
Frequently asked questions
How do I freshen up my quilt?

Some of my quilts are older and were stored. You can freshen up your quilt before using it in your home by sitting it outside in the sun and a fresh breeze. One of the easiest ways to do this is to put it on a clothesline on a sunny day in the fresh air for at least an hour.

Can I wash my quilt?

Your handmade Gee’s Bend item requires special care to preserve it for generations to come. As some pieces may be older heirloom items, I recommend testing for colorfastness before washing. To do this, take a damp, white cloth and rub it against your quilt's colored fabrics. If there is any color transfer to the white cloth, washing the quilt may result in discoloration and fading.

If you complete the colorfastness test and there is no color transfer, wash on a gentle cycle using a mild, gentle detergent in cold water; or hand wash by submerging your quilt alone in soapy water, gently rinse, then repeat. No chlorine bleach. Tumble dry, dry on a drying rack, or hang it outside to air dry. Finish with warm iron, if desired.

I noticed a small stain on my quilt. What should I do?

Some older quilts may have spots or discoloration due to their age. Because of its delicate nature, cautiously spot clean your quilt only as needed, as it can remove color that comprises the original style and tone of the quilt that you may not be able to get back. If there are spots that you would like to remove, use a very small amount of a mild detergent and gently rub the area with a white soft cloth. Use extreme care when doing this. If you don't feel comfortable washing or spot cleaning your quilt, consider locating a qualified conservation or restoration service.

Where can I find other Gee's Bend Quilters on Etsy?

You can find links to all the verified Gee's Bend Maker's shops below. Please consider supporting one, or all of us! Thank you in advance!