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"Animals" Quilt
"Animals" Quilt, 1980-1983
Pearlie Posey, American
Cotton; running stitch
6 feet 4 1/4 inches × 62 1/2 inches (193.7 × 158.8 cm)
The Ella King Torrey Collection of African American Quilts, 2006
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Animals Quilt by Pearlie Posey

In my time, would be a family there and a family there and a family there and we would get together and tear up old clothes, overall and linings and everything and piece quilt tops and linings...If I was ready to quilt one, well, four or five women Sunday morning come to my house and put one in. That’s the way we quilted, just quilt and laugh and enjoy ourselves. —Pearlie Posey

Pearlie Posey lived a life of physical labor, spending her days working on plantations in Mississippi and her evenings taking care of her family. She suffered the loss of her mother at age five and was raised by her grandparents. Nonetheless, her mother spent time at the end of her life sewing quilt tops so that she could provide warmth and love for her daughter even after she was gone. Later in life, Posey’s grandmother taught her how to make pieced quilts such as nine-patch, four-patch, and strip quilts. Material and thread were scarce, so they used what they had, obtaining thread by unraveling flour and meal sacks.

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