Circle of Stars Quilt

Object Details

Emma Russell
Between 1986 and 1990
cotton, polyester, batting
86 1/4 × 83 1/8 in. (219.1 × 211.1 cm)
This fancy quilt plays with shapes, colors, and patterns. Large squares set on point, or angled like diamonds, frame Nine-Patch blocks in symmetrical rows of six by six. Nestling next to nine-patch blocks, red Four Point Stars burst on white squares, also set on point. Both hand and machine quilting make up the Circle of Stars quilt, whose colorful prints and solids include cotton, polyester, and cotton-poly blends. The quilt backing, thread, and single-layer binding are white. The quilt’s creator, Emma Russell (1909-2004), was a fifth-generation African American quilter who grew up in the Doloroso community of Woodville, Mississippi. She and her sister, Annie Dennis (1904-1997), learned to quilt from their mother Pheoba Johnson, and, in turn, taught others. Beginning in the 1970s, the family played a pivotal role in documenting African American quilting traditions, first in the Mississippi Delta and then nationally, in partnership with photographer Roland L. Freeman. The quilt was on display at the Anacostia Community Museum’s exhibition Home Sewn: Quilts from the Lower Mississippi Valley from December 2013 to February 2015.
Accession Number
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Anacostia Community Museum Collection
Data Source
Anacostia Community Museum
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