How quilts can make a difference

Recently a woman on a facebook group that I belong to posted photo’s of a quilt show that she went to at the Old State House Museum in Little Rock, Arkansas. The quilts on exhibit were all made by African American’s, including this quilt which was made by Mrs. Hattie Collins in 1890.

Log Cabin Block by Mrs. Hattie Collins

Mrs. Collins was born into slavery in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. After the Civil War she stayed in Arkadelphia, married a carpenter and settled down to start a family. 128 years later one of her quilts is hanging in a Museum in Little Rock inspiring other quilters of all ages, genders and races. It’s truly incredible! 

Hatties Quilt Bio

We all have the ability to make changes in the world. We might not be able to see these changes during our lifetimes, but slowly the ripple effect does go out and the effects they have in the world are immeasurable.  

2-Log Cabin Block by Mrs. Hattie Collins copy

I’m sure Mrs. Hattie Collins, never thought her work would be cherished and admired by family and strangers alike, but it is. How great is that?

3-Log Cabin Block by Mrs. Hattie Collins copy 2

Often quilters think that they have to have a stash of new fabric in order to create a beautiful quilt, it simply is not true. What you have to have is some fabric, a needle, some thread and something to put between the layers. As you can see, Hattie’s quilt is not even lined up perfectly. That is probably because she used what she had on hand and she didn’t waste anything. 128 years later and it’s in a museum and quilters from all over the world are admiring it.

Before I end this post, let me summarize this post in a nut shell: Hattie was born into slavery with no hopes of ever acquiring anything of value. Not freedom, not possessions, not even her own life. Yet here I am 128 years later, in the mountains of Montana, sharing a photo of one of her quilts, which was taken by a fellow quilter in Arkansas. The fact that this even happened is a sheer miracle. The lesson here is you never know what is going to happen when you make a quilt!

I would like to say thank you to Tiffany for sharing her photo’s with the on-line quilting group and for allowing me to use these on my blog. I am humbled by her kindness. 

Peace and happy creating!


12 thoughts on “How quilts can make a difference

    • This is a great idea Nanette. Snapfish (and other companies) make very nice books for fairly low cost. Perhaps a book with photo’s and a short story about each quilt would be nice. It certainly would be a family heirloom long after the quilts are gone. I like this idea so much that I think I might do it, thanks.


  1. These old scrappy quilts are the ones I love most. I can be impressed by modern and contemporary quilts, made with new fabric on fancy machines, but I reserve my *love* for the ones Hattie and our forbears made, with patience and purpose. I’m so glad you wrote about this!

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  2. I too appreciate all quilts Kerry, but there is definitely a soft spot in my heart for the old handmade ones, especially if their is a story attached to them.


  3. Fantastic!! My Granny made many quilts. I lost mine in the zillion moves in my life. I still mourn that crazy quilt, because it was a tangible evidence of my Granny’s love!

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    • HI MELINDA!!! It’s been a while, how are you? Wait don’t answer that, I was just on your blog and it looks great and you look great! I’m am so happy for you!! I’m sorry you no longer have your grandmothers quilt, but you never know, it might someday make it back to you. Stranger things have happened. I’m glad you still have memories of her though, they are the very best gift that can be given. Have a great day!!


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