One of the earliest ways of preserving and teaching history was through pictures and storytelling. Whether it was cavemen drawing their hunting exploits on cave walls in France; or Egyptian hieroglyphics; or Bible stories handed down in symbols; history has always passed through generations using visual and tactile techniques so that people would not only understand but remember. A picture is worth a thousand words.
I was never a student of history. Facts and timelines are boring. But I was approached by some folks who asked me to put together a quilt showcasing Republican presidents. My first task was to figure out who they were. In the process of looking up names, I began to read short blurbs as to their backgrounds, and I was hooked. Truth is always stranger than fiction, and so it goes with American history. There isn’t a soap opera on television that can match these people’s lives. I completed the Republican Presidential Quilt and currently working on a Democratic Presidential Quilt.
In conjunction with the Stan Hywet Needlework Guild in Akron, Ohio, I designed a quilt entitled “Ohio – the Mother of Presidents” which was used as a club fundraising project. Ohio has produced more Presidents than any other state in the union. It celebrates not only Ohio presidents, but Ohio’s industries, cities, landmarks, symbols and quirks…and was an award winner in the category of Mixed Media at the National Quilters Association show.
In the process of designing and making each of these quilts I have compiled anecdotes and stories behind these fascinating men…and hopefully in the future women….who have shaped the direction of our country. I share these stories when speaking about my history quilts. From Washington to Lincoln, from the Revolutionary War to the Gulf War to Ohio history, creativity, art, fabric and thread can make history alive and fun.
the Mother of Presidents Quilt
The Republican Presidents Quilt