Bricklayer quilt, ca. 1970. Linda Diane Bennett. Top and back: cotton-polyester blend. Gift of Souls Grown Deep Foundation from the William S. Arnett Collection, 2014. © 2022 Linda Diane Bennett / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
The Bricklayer pattern (as it was known in Gee’s Bend) is made using the same technique more generally known as Log Cabin piecing. While traditional Log Cabin blocks consist of squares pieced from narrow dark- and light-colored strips opposing one another on a diagonal, in this quilt each block is formed with two dark and two light triangles of strips. The blocks are placed to create alternating blue and white diamond shapes, a design that has also been called the Courthouse Steps pattern. Made by Bennett when she was a teenager, the work could be considered prescient; the artist went on to become a deputy sheriff and worked at the courthouse in Camden, Alabama, where she died suddenly at the age of thirty-three.