I was taught basic quilting skills while living in Alaska in 2004. I completed two quilts at that time, a large lap quilt and a friendship quilt. I then took a break from quilting to take care of the many duties on my plate. When my mother took a mission trip to Ghana, Africa in 2008, I asked her to purchase some fabric so we could create a quilt together, which we did in spite of the African women telling her that she was buying too small a quantity of each fabric to create something. They were thinking that her goal was to create clothing. In December of 2015, I took a more vested interest in quilting and started working in earnest, using images off the internet, books, and online tutorials. I love this art so much and I have now learned a great deal about art quilts. Additionally, I work with Rhode Island Project AIDS to create Memorial Quilts with the help of my students (I teach high school English).
The knowledge I gain about quilting techniques and the finished works need to be shared with communities, including the minority community and schools. Hopefully, this will foster interest in future generations to keep the tradition of creating African-inspired quilts going. I have benefited greatly from Aisha Lumumba’s “Scrap Easy” book, from attending the two National African American Quilt Conventions in Lawrence, Kansas organized by Marla Jackson where I met a number of incredible quilt sisters. When I received the Rhode Island State Council of the Arts grant in 2018, it allowed me to create important pieces for four local agencies so that Black art could be placed in public places: The Dr. Martin Luther King Center, The Newport County Branch of the NAACP, The Mixed Magic Theatre, and The Rhode Island Black Heritage Society. I just want my art, my gifts, my skills to grow in the name of Jesus.