During the 19th century in America, men and women traveled in wagons from the East Coast across the country to the West Coast. Along the way, many left the caravan to settle harsh and rugged territories. To brighten their homes and warm their beds, women created quilts made from used shirts, old dresses, food sacks, and worn tablecloths. After putting all these stray pieces together, they discovered the beauty of art in their patched works.

This art form grew as women made quilts to celebrate weddings, to rejoice in newborn babies, and to commemorate the lives of departed friends. Often the political voices of these women, so frequently unheard, began to be expressed in their fabric art. Statements against war and slavery, for women’s right to vote, and for political freedom worked their way into these women’s quilts.

With time, the fabric they used in their quilts became a little better. The stitches they invented became a bit more sophisticated. Their art began to take shape, an art which gave expression to the needed and silent voices of women artists. This art form continues today in the quilts of Melody Gordon-Healy.

© 2003 - 2004 Melody Gordon Healy; Some rights reserved. This site was last updated on 9 December 2003. Site design by T. W. Thorpe.