Rocky Mount Stars.

On this day in 1917, jazz pianist Theolonius Monk was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. He moved to New York City with his parents and two siblings at the age of five and started playing piano at age six. He was mostly self-taught, but took some classes at Julliard School of Music. Monk became the second-most recorded jazz composer (after Duke Ellington) and was one of only five jazz musicians to be featured on the cover of Time magazine.

Burrah Williams of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, hand pieced and hand quilted this “Babies First Star” or “Hexagonal Star” quilt in 1932. Williams used scrap fabric for the top and purchased backing fabric at Charles [store?] for $.10/yard. The quiltmaker documented her quilt as part of the North Carolina Quilt Project.

View this quilt on The Quilt Index to find out! Read more about its history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view.


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance

This entry was posted in On this Day in History Quilts series and tagged , , , by quiltalliance. Bookmark the permalink.

About quiltalliance

The Quilt Alliance is a nonprofit 501c3 organization established in 1993 whose mission is to document, preserve, and share our International quilt heritage by collecting the rich stories that historic and contemporary quilts, and their makers, tell about our nation's diverse peoples and their communities. In support of this mission, the Alliance brings together quilt makers and designers, the quilt industry, quilt scholars and teachers, and quilt collectors to further the following goals: To promote the understanding of the quilt as an important grassroots art form. To make information about quilts available to a broad public. To educate the public about the importance of documenting quilts and quiltmakers so that their stories will not be lost.

2 thoughts on “Rocky Mount Stars.

  1. I love my daily email from Quilt Alliance. May I suggest that the “view this quilt” and zoom feature be enlarged? It is often, with the zoom, still smaller than the original photo in the email. Just a request. Many thanks for sharing all that you share. When my book, Quilter’s Quarters, is in print this early winter, I would like to send you a copy. Do you have a P.O. address?

    Terry Palardy

  2. Thanks, Terry! It is frustrating when you so want to see a larger image of an interesting quilt! Since the Quilt Index is a grassroots project with images coming from many sources (state and regional quilt documentation days, museums, private collectors), there is a lot of variety in the resolution and quality of the photos submitted. The “View This Quilt” link takes you to the Basic Record page for that quilt and you can use the zoom tool in this view by clicking your mouse over the image and dragging it to see any part of the image larger. If the original image submitted by the contributor is high resolution, you can often see a much enlarged view where even single stitches are visible. However, if the image uploaded is a low resolution, the zoom view (and the Full Record view for that matter) are not much larger than the basic view image. I take my screenshots for the blog from the Full Record view. You can see this view for any record by clicking the “See full record” link at the bottom of the Basic Record page. I use the Basic Display link to introduce the quilt because it has a summary of information about the quilt, sort of an at-a-glance view to start.

    We have more videos planned for the Cruise and Use series ( on the Quilt Index Youtube channel and a simple guide on how to use the different views is at the top of that list.

    Thanks, please do send us a copy of your book!

    All best,

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