Harriet Angeline Powers (1837-1910)

“[As a young enslaved girl on a Georgia plantation, Harriet Powers learned how to make cloth, dye it using natural colorings, and make quilts with appliqué designs stitched on fabric.] She lived through the Civil War and Reconstruction, and eventually owned a cotton farm with her family, all the while relying on her skills with the needle to clothe and feed her children. Later she began making pictorial quilts, using each square to illustrate Bible stories and local legends. She exhibited her quilts at local cotton fairs, and though she never traveled outside of Georgia, her quilts are now priceless examples of African American folk Art.”

Harriet Powers was a resourceful, skilled artist. How might we foster resourcefulness in our own lives? How might we be supporting our local artists and craftspeople?

[excerpt from Barbara Herkert author of “Sewing Stories: Harriet Powers’ Journey from Slave to Artist”]