By: Bets Ramsey
Interviews with thirty elderly black women from Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia reveal some of the practices associated with the making of quilts from the post-Civil War period to the present. For the most part, in this region the process was learned in the homes of Anglo-Americans and passed down to later generations within the Negro family. The so-called West African influence is not evident. While most quilts were made for everyday use from dress scraps and salvaged material, the production of more elaborate quilts was not uncommon. Those interviewed came from families with income varying from meager to abundant, even affluent, perhaps dispelling another myth.
The conclusion is that quilts made by this sampling of black women and their ancestors showed differences of style, ability, attitude toward workmanship and convention that had as much variety as in any other ethnic, racial or national group.