Through the magic of textiles worked by hand, stitch by careful stitch, quilts tell the stories of women and their lives. It’s part of the fascination of the craft…

Kyra Hicks has a special perspective on stories told in fabric:

One of the under-researched areas in textile arts and American quilt history is the examination of Liberian quiltmaking. Remember, thousands and thousands of nineteenth-century African Americans emigrated to Liberia from the United States. Those who sewed and quilted continued with their quilting traditions learned here in America [to develop their own style, now known as Liberian quilting]… Many of the Liberian-made quilts I’ve seen are beautiful appliquéd creations…

Martha Ann's Quilt for Queen Victoria - children's book

Kyra is the author of Martha Ann’s Quilt for Queen Victoria, a beautifully illustrated children’s book that follows the life of a young girl who moved from Tennessee to Liberia with her family in 1830 — and her dream of presenting a quilt to England’s Queen Victoria in recognition of the monarch’s support for her people.

Slavery was still legal in the United States at that time, and Liberia was a beacon of hope for many African-American people.

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It’s a fascinating concept, a Promised Land… and a story from which emerged a distinctive style of quilting, of interest to quilters and historians alike.

Kyra’s own quilts have appeared in more than thirty exhibits in the United States and abroad, and she is also the author of Black Threads: An African American Quilting Sourcebook. Read more about Kyra Hicks at ReaderViews or visit her at

[via Electronic Village]

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