Quilt of the Month


February 2014

February 2014

Star Puzzle, Blazing Star variation
Made by Nora Ezell
Dated 1995
Eutaw, Alabama
Robert and Helen Cargo Collection
IQSCM 2000.004.0029

Nora Ezell began making variations of this pattern, which she calls "Star Puzzle," in the 1970s. Among the best known contemporary southern African American quilters, Ezell has been recognized with a number of accolades; she won an Alabama Folk Heritage award in 1990 and an NEA National Heritage Fellowship in 1992.

Ezell is one of more than 30 quiltmakers represented in the Robert and Helen Cargo Collection. The collection encompasses more than 150 quilts made by African American women primarily from Alabama.

While most of the quilts date from the 1970s and later, a number pre-date the 1950s. Many were purchased directly from the maker, whom Dr. Cargo came to know as he visited them.

Selected quilts from this collection have been exhibited at the Museum of American Folk Art in New York, The National Humanities Center in North Carolina and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and are featured in a number of publications including "Quilts: A Living Tradition" by Robert Shaw.