As you may know, I've been researching Georgia quilter Harriet Powers for the last few years and wrote a book about how her two known Bible-themed quilts survived more than a century to be housed today at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Smithsonian American History Museum. In the course of my research, a copy of an 1895/86 letter by Mrs. Powers was uncovered in Keokuk, Iowa. Mrs. Powers wrote that in 1882 she "... composed a quilt of the Lord's Supper from the New Testament." For reasons outlined in the book, I believe in the possibility that a quilt by Mrs. Powers could have been sold to a woman in Keokuk - and that, if true - that quilt may have been sold at an 1959 auction in Keokuk.
Last year I couldn't shake this thought that a quilt by Mrs. Powers might still be somewhere in a family's collection. To help get the feeling out, I designed what I thought Mrs. Powers' lost Lord's Supper quilt might look like. Elyse Whittake-Paek took my funny stick-figure sketches and drew proper quilt blocks. Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi then took the quilt blocks and made the quilt now on the book cover.
Mrs. Harriet Powers' spirit was indeed in the project! Recently Dr. Mazloomi shared the photos below of quilts lovingly stitched by members of the Women of Color Quilters Network, Dayton, Ohio chapter. These sistah quilters are Christians and know well the Bible stories in the Lord's Supper Quilt. I LOVE how they took the patterns and made the designs their own! Don't you agree? Look at how unique each interpretation is! Congratulations, ladies!