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Sewing Stories: Harriet Powers' Journey from Slave to Artist

February 12, 2016 - 5:35pm -- jromans
Barbara Herkert
"Harriet Powers learned to sew and quilt as a young slave girl on a Georgia plantation. 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."

A beautifully illustrated book that introduces children to Harriet Powers.  Powers quilted as a slave, and upon emancipation, sold a couple of story quilts that she made privately to make money.  Her story quilts were seen as works of art.  An easy to understand book, it could serve as a child's initial book to quilting, art, and the lives of African Americans during slavery, and as they began their newly free lives.  The story lends itself to intoducing children to many topics and can ultimately lead to many activities with children on the subjects of quilting and sewing, music, and further investigation of the historical period.

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