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Marlene O'Bryant-Seabrook
Charleston, South Carolina
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Harriet Powers:
A Darling Offspring of Her Brain

My quilt, "Harriet Powers: A Darling Offspring of Her Brain," was created to pay homage to Harriet Powers.

Born enslaved, her two known Bible Quilts are in the collections of The Smithsonian and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

An existing photo of her and the Boston quilt (circa 1886) provided the inspiration for the pattern.

I attempted to create an accurate reproduction of her machine appliquéd original by closely matching fabrics, including embroidered embellishments in metallic and non-metallic thread. The top half of the quilt is bordered by her dictated explanations of each of the fifteen scenes which indicate Biblical stories, local legends, and astrological events.

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