Roll Call

September, 2011

Roll Call

Yvonne Wells
Roll Call

Dated 1987
Made in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Robert and Helen Cargo Collection of African-American Quilts, 2000.004.0145

Born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Yvonne Wells taught school for most of her adult life. In 1979, while sitting by a fire that did not throw out enough heat, Wells decided to make a “coverlet” for her legs to keep her warm. That first quilt, made from necessity in 1979, was the first step on a path that would lead Wells from making pieced quilts, to story and picture quilts, and winning the prestigious Alabama Arts award and Visual Craftsmanship Award in 1998.

This quilt draws from Yvonne Wells' experiences as a teacher. She explains:

“I’m a school teacher, and lots of times kids like to play. So I’m calling roll and I called and one man kept his head down, which is the head down in the sand. The other one, when I call his name he looks up very quickly, letting me know he was there. And, the other one I called, he wasn’t even there yet. So he was the tardy one. It’s really three but you only see two.”