Friday, May 28, 2010

Learning while I Create the President’s Quilt

When the White House was nearly finished in late 1800s, President John Adams of Massachusetts was its first occupant. John & Abigail Adams did not own slaves !! The second occupant, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, started a tradition that continued with other slave-holding presidents — they brought their personal slaves to help staff the White House.

In 1801, President Jefferson took about a dozen slaves from Monticello with him as he set up occupancy in the White House. Many lived in quarters on the White House’s first floor, while others slept on the second floor in the first family’s quarters. While largely overlooked, the role of slaves in building the president’s home has drawn some attention in recent years.

Do check this out!! they cherished liberty

Avenging The Ancestors Coalition (ATAC) is a broad-based organization of African American historians, attorneys, elected officials, religious leaders, media personalities, community activists, and registered voters. ATAC was founded in 2002 to compel the National Park Service (NPS) and Independence National Historical Park (INHP) to finally agree to the creation of a prominent Slavery Commemoration as a key component of the President's House project. The purpose of this Slavery Commemoration is to honor primarily the nine African descendants enslaved by President George Washington at the President's House, which is also known as America's first "White House" and which was located at the current site of the new Liberty Bell Center in Philadelphia at Sixth and Market Streets. Those nine were among the 316 Black men, women, and children enslaved by Washington at his Mt. Vernon, Virginia plantation.

After years of letter-writing campaigns, petition drives, demonstrations, public forums, press conferences, and negotiations, ATAC was victorious in persuading the NPS and INHP to finally concede to the creation of this absolutely historic Slavery Commemoration, now called the President's House/Slavery Commemoration Project.

The Truth Be Told….

The issue of slavery plagued Washington throughout his years in Philadelphia. By the time that Washington arrived here, he had privately begun to express doubts about that institution, but he also expressed frustration with those who worked openly against slavery. Despite his misgivings about slavery, while living in the President's House, Washington signed into law the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793. This notorious law mandated the return of enslaved persons to their owners and made it a crime to aid in the escape of the enslaved.

Washington also took pains to ensure that those he enslaved could not secure their freedom under the terms of Pennsylvania's Gradual Abolition Law of 1780. Washington was unsure if the law applied to him, but if it did, it would have allowed enslaved Africans he brought into the state to secure their freedom after six months residence in Pennsylvania. In order to keep this from happening, Washington secretly made arrangements for the slaves he brought to Philadelphia to be rotated out of the state before the six-month deadline arrived. Even a brief trip across state lines would restart the clock on the waiting period.
Washington eventually did decide to free his slaves. However, under the terms of his will, this belated freedom only came after both he and his wife died, and then only for some. Martha's dower slaves, who legally belonged to her family's estate, were not freed.

Philadelphia in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

President’s House Project (PA)

In the 1790s, The nation’s first capital was located at 6th & Market Streets in Center City, Philadelphia: and the home of George and Martha Washington -- theirs was the biggest house in town. Nine enslaved Africans were among the approximately 24 individuals who served George Washington and his family and staff at the President's House. Today we are learning that the foundation of the first presidential oval office, which originated at this house, survives. Archeologists continue to discover evidence from the new nation — evidence thought to be long lost.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


When I don't even like it..........

now I know.....

more on this fantastic post tommorrow..... :)

Monday, May 24, 2010


When is a HOUSE A HOUSE.... and a home a home?

When is a shack a shanty....does the coin-value denote the worth of a slave quarter next to the the BIG HOUSE????

Is this my 40 ACRES AND MY MULE??? ++ 200 YEARS LATER ?? !!

In this later half-century of my life (with grandchildren of my own, and my mother turning 84 yrs this summer) I have been engrossed with the intertwining of our family roots. Lucinda - really no-name -- but assigned the name of the field master "SMITH" by Captain James A. Anderson, the Irish slavemaster who fathered at least 7 children by Lucinda... She bore a total of 14 children per 1900 census wherein her approx date of birth was listed as 1848.

It is in this vein.... that I am engrossed with the reading of American History. Highschool couldn't mean a thing, and a college textbook was a memorized "B". There has always been the living reality of our "passing white" Big Mama, as well as Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher whose 1948 Supreme Court Case (..vs Univ Of Oklahoma Law School).

But whatever reasons, a light cloud was always overcast, and questions were not asked... I learned from Aunt Lois in class and in her speaking engagements. But in the last few years.... I am aggressively piecing together.........MY FAMILY STORY!


And this is what I envision in artistic expressions of women like Heather Williams, Kyra Hicks, Dr. Mazloomi, Maya Angelo and others before me who create, research and highlight the style of African American quilts and the symbolism there within the quilting. I find myself continually...... not in the Euro-American tightly structured star blocks and geese and 9-patches.... but I do love to make these patterns.... BUT

But where I truly find my delight and self-expression coming into play is with a topic... And it's a rather dark --- my family thinks of me as radical, almost negative with the MLK and Malcom X, H-Rap Brown and Angela Y. Davis mentality of the 60-70's. But I must express my past. It's where I find my fulfillment.... in putting American History ---- African-Black-folk history into quilt images!!!

yea... am I a happy campter or what! Praise the Lord!

Stirred by the topic of the President's House

So, it's fair to ask.... "What's driving my passion now...????"

I met Michelle Flamer at the Wilberforce Ohio quilt exhibit in April-2010 and we exchanged e-mail info after she mentioned that she was curating a show highlighting the time period and the subject of "slaves in the President's House in PA."

There is a quilt on the floor of my sewing room......up know I'm ready to stay up all night.....

I've sat and simmered, reading and visualizing the lives of George & Martha, Ona, the chef and the fate of Blacks men and women in the early 1600-1700-1800's on American soil.

Check the Link in the heading to find out more....

The President's House in Philadelphia: according the George Washington's correspondence and maps: there were nine enslaved Africans who worked in George Washington's presidential household...brought from the Mt. Vernon plantation owned by Martha & Geroge.

Why are the Slave Quarters important?

“We lived in a kitchen, a room in a log house joined on to the master’s house.”

Sarah Graves, A Missouri Slave

"I believe that it is better to tell the truth than a lie.

I believe it is better to be free than to be a slave.

And I believe it is better to know than to be ignorant." -- H.L. Mencken

Why are the Slave Quarters important?

.......George Washington's Presidential House (PA.) The Slave Quarters stands as a commemorative location used exclusively by the enslaved at the beginning of Washington's residence at the President's House. It is in this place we can commemorate the lives, dignity, fears, and struggles of the enslaved of African descent, in the context of power and unpower, of freedom and unfreedom in the making of our nation.
testing one-two-three..... I'm back to the ENGLISH langauge.....

Quiltin My life story

My life is but a weaving – Between my Lord and me, I cannot choose the colors – He weaveth steadily.

Ofttimes He weaveth sorrow – And I, in foolish pride, Forget He sees the upper and I the underside.

Not ‘til the loom is silent – And the shuttles cease to fly - Shall God unroll the canvas - And reveal the reasons why.

The dark threads may be needful – in the skillful weavers hand
As the thread of gold and silver In the pattern He has planned.
(Author unknown)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Final Post for today….

I love my blog…. Do you?

I’m praying for my dear quilt friend…. That her cancerous diagnosis will be kind to her….. there is healing in His wings!!! Bless the Lord!

Reflections on Harriet’s Falling Stars!

I was inspired @ this visit to the Pioneer Women’s Museum in Ponca City, Oklahoma. There were powerful images of Mary Bethune as well as Clara Luper. It’s my hearts desire to further honor and commemorate these women in quilted statements and imagery!

Meandering thru my 2006,2007, and 2008 files and folder in My Documents… I’ve travelled and taken a good many pictures that I know I want to translate into quilt art….. The falling stars of Harriet Powers!

Just as Every Quilt tells a story . . . .

Every story should start in a park – especially if it tells its own story.
Reconciliation Park is the long-awaited result of the 2001 Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. It memorializes the Tulsa Race Riot, called the worst civic disturbance in American history.

The Park also tells the story of African Americans’ role in building Oklahoma and thus begins the long-delayed rendering of the full account of Oklahoma’s history.

When construction is complete, the park will feature two primary art elements, created by Ed Dwight, the first African-American astronaut and prominent Denver artist:
• Hope Plaza – The Park entry’s 16-foot granite structure contains three larger-than-life bronze sculptures representing actual pictures from the 1921 riot:
o Hostility – A white man fully armed for assault
o Humiliation – A black man with his hands raised in surrender
o Hope – The white director of the Red Cross holding a black baby

• The Tower of Reconciliation – At the center of the Park, the 25-foot-tall memorial tower depicts the history of the African American struggle from Africa to America – from the migration of slaves with Native Americans on the Trail of Tears, the slave labor experience in the Territories, the 7th Kansas Regiment of Civil War soldiers that won the Battle of Honey Springs – to statehood, the immigration of free blacks into Oklahoma, and the all-black towns and Greenwood. It honors Buck C. Franklin (prominent black attorney and Dr. Franklin’s father) and other early Tulsa black leaders.

John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park continues the American tradition of erecting memorials based on tragic events by giving voice to the untold story of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot and the important role African Americans played in building Oklahoma.

The final report of the 2001 Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 is available at

I feel a quilt comin’ on STRONG!

You know my heart, hands and mind….. busy ticking….dreaming of a quilt to depict this important event!

“I want to be out there on the firing line, helping, directing or doing something to try to make this a better world, a better place to live.”
– John Hope Franklin

The story of the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation, Inc. is just beginning. It is a story filled with:
• Drama –Waiting eight years for state funding
• Resolve –Securing $950,000+ funding to complete the Park
• Patience – Overseeing construction of Reconciliation Park and establishing an organizational framework
• Action – Launching five major program initiatives in its first year of operation

Beginning with the 2008 groundbreaking for Reconciliation Park, which was Dr. John Hope Franklin’s last public appearance before his death in March 2009, the Center’s Board of Directors has created an exciting vision –
to transform the bitterness and mistrust caused by years of racial division, even violence, into a hopeful future of reconciliation and cooperation for Tulsa and the nation.

नो इ क्नोव.....

Now I know… I’m smart and capable…… Geesh I can read! So I’ve tapped every link for language… settings – all of it and I have not yet gotten my blog back to ENGLISH>>>>>>>>>>

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tis still a lovely day….. for:

Call For Entries
Special Announcement.
Sacred Threads 2011 will be held in Northern Virginia (30 minutes outside Washington D.C.) from June 22 - July 4, 2011.

NOTE: Photo image taken @ DisneyWorld Jan 2007

Monday, May 10, 2010

More ramblings in my Quilt-Spirit!

I must be really one of a kind…… I must update and redefine my bio!

Images for future quilt stories of African American people!


Quilters Born in the first quarter of 1900’s

For the snow-ball quilt (ABOVE), she lifted the mattress to show its place of safe-keeping in a spare bedroom. Even the colors in her bedroom denote the mid-80’s style of her home, where she and her spouse of over 61 years raised two daughters (our classmates!)

Can’t you almost feel the tenderness… the ability to remember as Mrs. Miles gently spreads her hands over this precious quilt.

The story of Mary Lou and the quilts made by her mother is a story I began to piece together prior to 2007: and her are a few of the photographs from a second visit in her Oklahoma City, OK homeplace.

I was writing notes, and taking pictures – quite leisurely as she tipped around slowly… showing and naming the pictures of her mom and dad in the background pictures.

She later, opened a linen closet to show me unfinished blocks and smaller tops hand stitched by her mother. I placed the facts into a spreadsheet to reconstruct the various dates and ages of the family…. Oh I’ll have to go back and look up her maiden name!

I was writing notes, and taking pictures – quite leisurely as she tipped around slowly… showing and naming the pictures of her mom and dad in the background pictures.

She later, opened a linen closet to show me unfinished blocks and smaller tops hand stitched by her mother. I placed the facts into a spreadsheet to reconstruct the various dates and ages of the family…. Oh I’ll have to go back and look up her maiden name!

I’ve put off 3-4 of my life dreams… and callings. An inward urge… persistent… as if saying “Bev… do it before it’s too late and people pass on. The story needs to be told….. Bev… if you don’t do it…… LORDY<>
PS./….. That’s an open door to any fellow blogger who have published- self-published… or know of way to help me out….. help me to move forward!!! Thanks

Friday, May 7, 2010

Partial Credits: (l) Rose J. Smith, b 1943 Summertime in Bartlesville, 2000: Acrylic on Canvas (2) Marlene Collins Walker, b 1933 Reclining Nude, 1977 Oil on Canvas (3) Mitsuni Ishii Reedy, b 1941 Brenda (Woman with a Turban) The State Capitol in Oklahoma City


The State Capitol in Oklahoma City hosts a revolving exhibit showroom for beautiful artwork…. Share my inspirational visit…. I feed and absorb all of this color, faces, expessions…. On another wall – I believe a Native American artist listed as TONY – The TIGER had multi-dimensional, mixed media work…. Pretty neat. My brain and heart and soul… I am praying and believing that I’ll continue this quilt journey…. (I B-quiltin” !) J and I believe I’ll fulfill my dreams… God will give me the desires of my heart…. I’ll post to the hallowed State Capitol walls!

Won’t you be my neighbor???

It’s a wonderful day in the neighborhood

I’m thinking of the many, many antebellum African enslaved and free women who quilted….. In Africa… men performed esteemed needlework. But on the plantation, women were taught to sew as became skilled seamstresses. You know, in this role reversal (in my mind’s eye) I picture the black mother toiling in the “Big House” till late and after feeding her family she began quilting in her shanty or cabin. Her man also worked relentlessly in the field. He glanced at her feeble but determined effort to sew, and he deftly reached and guided her hands into a lesson of pride as he remembered his land and people and the various banners and robes he-himself had spun, dyed, tied and quilted. Oh the glory by candlelight or moonlight as they both groaned and yearned for their life and livelihoods in Africa. Oh! the harshness, and downright meanness of the Euro’s, their audacity to think of them as stupid chattel. Though they knew not the language and ways of the wild, greedy, selfish master and mistress…. This couple’s heart and spirit were revived, their children were safe for a short period of time in the cots, and they lay side by side in the still of the night.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

यू क्नोव... इवे बी

“I;ve been looking for the tab, marker, or any and everything that would let me OK comments to e=mail or on this blog site..
There is not a real person anywhere as owning blogspot...blogger / via a contact number (even if I had to wait on hold for an hour)….. just the help note. Anyhow…. I finally clicked… and now I am ALOWING POSTS

BUT do miracles never cease….. TODAY…. Whatever I type switched to a foreign language. So…. I go to word/doc type—copy and past……… गीईश


Audacity of Music
“ and let her own works praise her in the gates.“ Proverbs 31:31 KJV

Medallion Styled Quilt . . .

I'm in the mood for the center of my wall-hanging artsy quilt to be the focal point -- the message to the viewer!!!

I'm pulled towards a bold, bright triangular edging:But I can't go too far or all my quilts will bear too much similarity.

I made a portable design wall (abt 50x50") What and Why A Design Wall?

Here's a sophisticated, intelligent quote about the usefullnes of a design wall "... from the flow of colors to the combination effect to the symmetry of various patterns, a quilt design wall helps an artisan look into each and every aspect of a quilt making with detail."

I am not a visual person -- there's something deeper in which I draw a flow of colors and the lines and an outline of my quilted piece, be it full-bed-sized or smaller:: (more like my African American Ancestors who thought "evil runs in a straight line!")This is the inner Beverly who finds creativity only when I break the rules of standardization! This happens as I quilt as well as during the times that I watch a Caucasian-based-media-commentary... the other side of my unique cultural heritage goes into an automatic "let's deconstruct this idea.... there's more than meets the eye! I look as deeply into the Scriptures in order to lift up and grow deep spiritually!

Back to quiltin! :) I think of my Gee's Bend lady-friend who thoughtfully said "..God gives me this here idea... just lookin' at a wall, or newspaper, of out a window.... I sees a color or design and says to maself: Self - I'll make that 'nto a quilt!"

Several years ago, I visited the Milwaukee Art Museum exhibit of Gee's Bend, and purchased coasters, and a video cassette: YES! I'm old and ol'enuf -- and old fashioned! My sewing room is equipped with a 15" color/video combo television. So my extreme satisfaction is to sit and sew in this quaint environment! God Bless my dear old Mississippi Mama Dooley and Big-Mama Sipuel!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What's Your Dream Garage Sale Item ? ?

Would u like 2 know what mine is.....???  

First:   A Long- Arm Quilter's Husband or Son who is so dis-interested in the antiquated shop-area that belonged to granny.... Lo and Behold.... he's selling the Gammil... that big on heavy thing takin up room???   Throw in quilting supplies:  Pantograph Patterns + Stencil Patterns (for blocks, circles & corners) ....Threads ........Parts ..........Instructional Material !

Let's say, I was driving the farm backroads of Oklahoma, Kansas etc in my JEEP ....  I see this SALE sign early morning sunshine and dew on the ground.   Plus I have a sufficient bank roll  :) 

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hi World..... Another adventure for ME!

It's coming into focus.... my dreams are coming closer to reality this year!  AQSG 2010 Quilt Study of 19th Century Stars with Exhibit @ Seminar in Minneapolis, MN.  Dates are October 14-17, 2010. 

I'm calling of a friend I met 2 years ago at a Rudisill Library in Tulsa Oklahoma Quilt showing.  She brought in her mother's beautiful... I mean georgous Lemoyne star quilt!  The AQSC allows me to make either a replica of the original or my own interpretation of the inspiration quilt in whole or in part.... no other guidelines that require my masterpiece via hand or machine made.  Construction methods are up to me.     Measurements: all four sides cannot total more than 200 inches.

American Quilt Study Group • 1610 L Street • Lincoln, NE 68508-2509
Phone/Fax: (402) 477-1181 •
I've got picture filed from the event to post in a minute:

Rich Simplicity ~

“You can’t force simplicity; but you can invite it in by finding as much richness as possible in the few things at hand. Simplicity doesn’t mean meagerness but rather a certain kind of richness, the fullness that appears when we stop stuffing the world with things.” – Thomas Moore

I have a window in the southern back portion of my den..... And I open the blinds every day.... So I've been waiting.... and my joy is the beatiful blooming of my daddy's rose bush. Standing 5ft +.... and I've failed to feed it in particular. But a great year of 2010---- Howard Huggins was born in 1924/ died in 1997! God bless his work, his memory, every increasing my love for my daddy!

MAGICAL Mazloomi brings out the best in us!

She asked...... and I think I've delivered !
Just two weeks ago in Ohio, I saw the best of the best operating in her zone! Dr. Carole Mazloomi curated "JOURNEY OF HOPE: Quilts Inspired by Prez Barack Obama" via the Artists Quilt Reception ~ Wilberforce OH @ National Afro-American Museum!

After she sternly and graciously "worked me over" verbally and truthfully about keeping my word and being on time... and following the rules ~ she gave me a followup call regarding her next CALL FOR ENTRIES

into a juried exhibit titled "Beyond Category: Visions of Jazz in Fiber". Take note --all my fellow quiltin friends. . . . The show will be featured at the International Textile Biennial (San Jose, Costa Rica) and the University of Costa Rica (Limon) from September 7 to October 12, 2010!

Eligibility: each entry is by digital images only: up to three entries. Quilts must be created after 2008: minimum of 36" pr side thru a maximum of 60" per side.

KEY DATES: July 1, 2010 deadline for entry and July 15, 2010 notification of acceptance. Dr. Mazloomi contact information is: Carolyn Mazloomi email:

Remembering that talk-and tone in Dr. Mazloomi's voice (all to my betterment! is this areal word?) I have completed the block construction and applique onto my show-wall! Good measurements, good color combo.... I'm on!

During my first venture into creativity...I pieced the NY Beauty star in bold fabric thinking of the circular motion represented the soul of black musicians..... I browsed antique shops of black memorbillia months's ago ... and in the sheet music I found a great picture of W.C. Handy.... along with this lady--singing--the--blues---no--doubt! entitled Under-Neath the Harlem Moon. Knowing she would be the inspiration of my JAZZ vision as a centerpiece; I sewed along with music-themed fabric..... Had on-hand a good many orphan blocks...... on and on.... let's see what works!!

THEN ... to behold the fabric on hand in my stash.....five inch triangles matched with black....
Outstanding.... now we're talking black soul! Even as music is a universal language.... this is my hearbeat and interpretation.. right??

I even tried to keep my sewing room NEAT... refolding fabric as I go.....

OK..... ready for a peek.......... I now think of all the borrowed inspirations I've use, all of the copyright preventions I've seen listed....... NOW I take a step and wonder who will copy me?? !!

Here goes my sneak peek.......

Ready for decorative thread and zigzag to secure applique....and my soul lady! Women in black seem to be a recurring theme for me at this time in my life -- hmmmmmm.

They Told Us: Lymphoma 8-31-2009

They Told Us:  Lymphoma 8-31-2009

Zippers How-to