Custom quilts available upon request.
A Short History of African American Quilting:
African American quilting and piece sewing can be traced back to the cultural symbolism and textile design traditions of West Africa. Weaving was originally practiced by men, but when our ancestors were trafficked to the United States, labor was divided according to Western patriarchal standards. Women took up the mantle of quilting. They adapted African patterns and techniques, and incorporated diverse traditions from the country they now found themselves in. The result was a style distinct to our people and our culture.
During slavery and the civil war, African Americans used quilting to communicate message and escape routes along the Underground Railroad running. After emancipation, Black Americans continued to use quilting and textile crafts as both a means of cultural expression and a source of income. Our mothers and grandmothers turned their scrap materials into expressive household and clothing items.
Today’s eco-friendly waste-free trends of revamping wardrobe items into unique personal fashion statements are actually inspired by piece sewing styles rooted in the ingenuity of eras past.
Southern Journeys is proud to continue these traditions. And by incorporating Fair Trade textiles from our sisters in West Africa, we are using craft and commerce to build community and improve lives both here and abroad. We are honored to share this heritage with you.