Pearl & Her Gee’s Bend Quilt

Discussion with Author Tangular Irby about her book “ Pearl and her Gee’s Bend Quilt”

Tangular Irby is a Connecticut educator, author, quilter, and descendant of Gee’s Bend  quilters, Tangular A. Irby announced the release of her debut children’s books, Pearl and Her Gee’s  Bend Quilt and Pearl and Her Gee’s Bend Quilt: Coloring and Activity Book (On sale: 12/25/2020;  Learning Advantage Network, Paperback Originals). Pearl and Her Gee’s Bend Quilt is a  heartwarming tale told through the eyes of a child who has spent hours watching her grandmother  work her magic with a needle and thread. During a playdate, Pearl reveals that she too wants to  be a Gee’s Bend quilter one day, just like her grandmother. Proving to her friends that she has  what it takes to be a quilter, Pearl’s story also provides a brief history of the works of art by her  ancestors that are admired around the world.  
The coloring and activity book includes black line illustrations, as well as prompts for children to write stories of their own family traditions.  
Rare antique and contemporary Gee’s Bend images of quilts are included throughout both publications.  
A 27-year veteran in the field of education, Tangular A. Irby is also the granddaughter of Gee's  Bend quilters, Pearlie Kennedy Pettway and Jensie Lee Irby. Tangular Irby grew up admiring the  beauty of the quilts gifted to her by family. Quilting became a way to honor the legacy of her  maternal and paternal grandmothers, Gee's Bend quilters, who passed on long before their  creations were recognized as more than just a means to keep their families warm. Pearl and Her  Gee’s Bend Quilt is inspired by countless family conversations over the decades and the artistry  of Gee’s Bend resident, quilter, and relative of the author Mary Leathea Pettway.  

When asked why she quilts, Mary Leathea said,  
“I made my first quilt over 40 years ago. As a young mother, it was my stress reliever.  Some people drink. Some people smoke. I connect with myself when I quilt. I do it my way, no one else's way. I do not use patterns. I don’t need anyone’s permission. I can see a cabinet and get an idea. I know when it is done because I feel complete. I feel free.”  In an interview, the author could discuss: 
• The history and legacy of Gee’s Bend Quilting • The author’s relationship to Gee’s Bend quilters • The inspiration for the children’s book, and why she decided to write it now

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