Make a quilt square on Feb. 28 in honor and remembrance

This quilt features some of the patterns that are believed to have been used as codes for the Underground Railroad. These are often referred to as Freedom Quilts.

In honor of Black History Month, and in remembrance of Gloria Leven, the Cavendish Historical Society and the Cavendish Fletcher Community Library are offering an opportunity to make a quilt square from 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at the library, 573 Main St. in Proctorsville.

Quilting has played a significant role in the lives of African Americans. They not only told stories through their quilts, but kept themselves and their families warm, while providing a source of income. It was also a time when they could socialize without “supervision.”

Lizzie Hobbs Keckley was born a slave, but obtained her freedom by selling intricate quilts. She became seamstress and quilter for first lady Mary Todd Lincoln and congressional wives. She created the famous “Liberty” Medallion Quilt from strips of Lincoln’s dresses and went on to become the director of Domestic Arts at Wilberforce University in Ohio.

Although many know the story of Harriet Tubman and her vital role with the Underground Railroad, they may be less aware of her quilting and how she used it to provide clues to guide slaves to freedom.

Quilters used their skills to provide funds for the Underground Railroad and anti-slavery newspapers and made 250,000 quilts and comforters for the Union soldiers during the Civil War. Ultimately, quilting played an important role in helping to abolish slavery.

The quilting tradition continues today through groups like the quilters in Gee’s Bend, Ala., who are the descendents of Pettway Plantation slaves. They are known for their use of colors, abstract design and storytelling.

Leven, who died on Jan. 1 at the age of 100, was an ardent quilter who always had a project in her living room and on her nightstand. Like the many quilters before her, she helped to raise money for the library and CHS with her needle and thread.

The workshop is free and open to the public. Participants will learn more about the history of quilting, as well as have a chance to use some of Leven’s fabrics to create their own quilt square. No sewing required. For more information call 802-226-7807 or send an e-mail.

This workshop is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Cavendish Community Fund.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeIn the Arts

About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.