Saturday, September 15, 2007

Nora Ezell (1917 - 2007) Quilter & Author

Alabaman quilter and author Nora Ezell passed away on September 6, 2007. If you are not familiar with Mrs. Ezell's extraordinary quilts, then do be sure to get a copy of her book, "My Quilts and Me: The Diary of an American Quilter." This book is one of my absolute favorites in providing personal insights into why a black woman quilts, how she values and prices her quilts, how she decides on the fabrics to select, and goes about getting commissions. I only wish I could have met Mrs. Ezell in person.
Mrs. Ezell was the fourth of 10 children. Her mother, an expert seamstress, taught her to quilt and sew her clothes. She started making story quilts in 1979. One of her first quilts, which took over two years to complete, was a story quilt about Martin Luther King, Jr. Mrs. Ezell is one of several African American quilters to be honored with a National Heritage Fellowship Award. You can read her Award bio from 1992 by clicking here.
Here are a few links to learn more about Mrs. Ezell:
* Robert Cargo Folk Art Gallery, Caroline Cargo director
Thank you to Caroline Cargo for letting me know about Mrs. Ezell. I'd be happy to forward to Mrs. Ezell's family any tributes or notes you'd like to leave here or email me personally. Best, Kyra


Karoda said...

Kyra, I'll bank on any quilt/book recommendations from you...will certainly put this on my list as one to get. I've not heard of Mrs. Ezell and as always I've most appreciative to know now :)

Anonymous said...

Kyra, The obituary in today's LA TIMES is sitting here waiting to go out in the mail tomorow. I should have known you would already know! I came over here to see if you had an link. (I'll go to your wensite and get it.) Like Karoda, I am impressed with your comments about the book, so will order it tonight.

Kyra said...

Karoda -

Hello! Thank you for the nice note. I wish I could have met Mrs. Ezell! I'm thankful we have her book.

Best, Kyra

Big Mama said...

Nearly two years later...I did get the book and I did read it. I forgot to come back here and say so. Mrs. Ezell was a very interesting lady and her diary was so personal. It was like having conversations with Mrs. Ezell. She was so conscientious about her work.