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Sewing Stories: Harriet Powers' Journey from Slave to Artist

By: Barbara Herkert
illustrated by: Vanessa Newton
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Imprint: Knopf Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9780385754620
2015-10-13 - $17.99

An illuminating picture book biography of an artist and former slave whose patchwork quilts bring the stories of her family to life.

Harriet Powers learned to sew and quilt as a young slave girl on a Georgia plantation. She lived through the Civil War and Reconstruction, and eventually owned a cotton farm with her family, all the while relying on her skills with the needle to clothe and feed her children.
 
Later she began making pictorial quilts, using each square to illustrate Bible stories and local legends. She exhibited her quilts at local cotton fairs, and though she never traveled outside of Georgia, her quilts are now priceless examples of African American folk art.
 
Barbara Herkert’s lyrical narrative and Vanessa Newton’s patchwork illustrations bring this important artist to life in a moving picture-book biography.